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Philosophy 

철학 - 지혜의 탐구

Anthropology

인류학 (人類學)

 

1 Introduction

The word anthropology was first used in the philosophical faculties of German universities at the end of the 16th century to refer to the systematic study of man as a physical and moral being. Philosophical anthropology is thus, literally, the systematic study of man conducted within philosophy or by the reflective methods characteristic of philosophy; it might in particular be thought of as being concerned with questions of the status of man in the universe, of the purpose or meaning of human life, and, indeed, with the issues of whether there is any such meaning and of whether man can be made an object of systematic study. What actually falls under the term philosophical anthropology, however, varies with conceptions of the nature and scope of philosophy. The fact that such disciplines as physics, chemistry, and biology--which are now classified as natural sciences--were until the 19th century all branches of natural philosophy serves as a reminder that conceptions of philosophy have changed.

Twentieth-century readings of philosophical anthropology are much narrower than those of previous centuries. Four possible meanings are now accepted: (1) the account of man that is contained in any comprehensive philosophy; (2) a particular philosophical orientation known as humanism (see HUMANISM ), in which the study of man provides the foundation for all else--a position that has been prominent since the Renaissance; (3) a distinctive, 20th-century form of humanism that on occasion has claimed the label of "philosophical anthropology" for itself and that has taken the human condition, the personal being-in-the-world, as its starting point; and (4) any study of man that is regarded as unscientific. Philosophical anthropology has been used in the last sense by 20th-century antihumanists for whom it has become a term of abuse; antihumanists have insisted that if anthropology is to be possible at all it is possible only on the condition that it rejects the concept of the individual human subject. Humanism, in their eyes, yields only a prescientific, and hence a philosophical (or ideological), nonscientific anthropology.

By tracing the development of the philosophy of man, it will thus be possible to deal, in turn, with the four meanings of philosophical anthropology. First, however, it is necessary to discuss the concept of human nature, which is central to any anthropology and to philosophical debates about the sense in which and the extent to which man can be made an object of systematic, scientific study.

For coverage of related topics, see SPECTRUM, section 10/52, and the Index.

 

2 THE CONCEPT OF HUMAN NATURE

The concept of human nature is a common part of everyday thought. The ordinary person feels that he comes to know human nature through the character and conduct of the people he meets. Behind what they do he recognizes qualities that often do not surprise him: he forms expectations as to the sort of qualities possessed by other human beings and about the ways they differ from, for example, dogs or horses. People are proud, sensitive, eager for recognition or admiration, often ambitious, hopeful or despondent, and selfish or capable of self-sacrifice. They take satisfaction in their achievements, have within them something called a conscience, and are loyal or disloyal. Experience in dealing with and observing people gives rise to a conception of a predictable range of conduct; conduct falling outside the range that is considered not to be worthy of a human is frequently regarded as inhuman or bestial whereas that which is exceptional--in that it lives up to standards which most people recognize but few achieve--is regarded as superhuman or saintly. (see also  human behaviour, personality)

The common conception of human nature thus implicitly locates man on a scale of perfection, placing him somewhere above most animals but below saints, prophets, or angels. This idea was embodied in the theme, Hellenic in origin, of the Great Chain of Being--a hierarchical order ascending from the most simple and inert to the most complex and active: mineral, vegetable, animal, man, and finally divine beings superior to man. In the Middle Ages these divine beings constituted the various orders of angels, with God as the single, supremely perfect and omnipotent, ever-active being. There was a tendency in this theory to take for granted the commonality among all human beings, something by virtue of which they could be classified as fully human, which differentiates them from all other animals, and which gives them their place in the order of things. Yet, as with many notions that are habitually employed, the request for a precise definition of "human nature" proves highly problematic. (see also  religion, philosophy of)

The Greeks--most notably Plato and Aristotle--introduced the notion of form, nature, or essence as an explanatory, metaphysical concept. Variations on this concept were central to Western thought until the 17th century. Observation of the natural world raised the question of why creatures reproduced after their kind and could not be interbred at will and of why, for example, acorns grew into oaks and not into roses. To explain such phenomena it was postulated that the seeds, whether plant or animal, must each already contain within them the form, nature, or essence of the species from which they were derived and into which they would subsequently develop. This pattern of explanation is preserved in the modern biological concept of a genetic code that is embodied in the DNA molecular structure of each cell. There are important differences, however, between the modern concept of a genetic code and the older, Greek-derived concept of form or essence.

First, biologists are now able to locate, isolate, experimentally analyze, and manipulate DNA molecules in what has become known as genetic engineering. Being the structures responsible for physical development, DNA molecules represent the terms by which man can be biologically characterized. Forms or essences, on the other hand, were not observable; if they were granted any independent existence, it was as immaterial entities. The form, nature, or essence of man or of any other kind of being was posited as a principle present in the thing, determining its kind by producing in it an innate tendency to strive to develop into a perfect example of itself--to fulfill its nature and to realize its full potential as a thing of a given kind. This gave rise to a teleological, or purposive, view of the natural world in which developments were explained by reference to the goal toward which each natural thing, by its nature, strives; i.e., by reference to the ideal form it seeks to realize. By contrast, the genetic structure present in each cell is now invoked to explain the subsequent development of an organism in a "mechanistic" and nonpurposive way, in which development is shown to be dependent upon and determined by preexisting structures and conditions.

Second, genetic mutability forms an essential part of modern evolutionary biology. Not only are there genetic differences between individuals of a given species to account for differences between them in features, such as coloration, but random genetic mutation in the presence of changing environmental conditions may result in alterations to the genetic constitution of the species as a whole. Thus, in evolutionary biological theory species are not stable; natural kinds do not have the fixed, immutable forms or essences characteristic of biology before the advent of evolutionary theory.

Within either framework, if human nature is understood simply as man's special form of that which is biologically inherited in all species, there remains the delicate problem of discovering, in any given case, exactly what role environment plays in determining the actual characteristics of mature members of the species. Even in the case of purely physiological characteristics this may be far from straightforward: for example, the extent to which diet, exercise, and conditions of work determine such things as susceptibility to heart disease and cancer remains the subject of intensive scientific investigation. In the case of behavioral and psychological characteristics, such as intelligence, the problems are multiplied to the point where they are no longer problems that can be answered by purely empirical investigation. There is room for much conceptual debate about what is meant by intelligence and over what tests, if any, can be supposed to yield a direct measure of this capacity, and thus provide evidence that an individual's level of intelligence is determined at birth (by nature) rather than by subsequent exposure to the environment (nurture) that conditions the development of all his capacities. (see also  heredity versus environment)

This debate--whether the variation in intelligence levels is a product of the conditions into which people all having the same initial potential are born, or whether it is a reflection of variations in the capacities with which they are born--is very closely related to the question of whether there is such a thing as human nature common to all human beings, or whether there are intrinsic differences among those whom we recognize as belonging to the biological species Homo sapiens. This is because, as the name Homo sapiens suggests, man is traditionally thought to be distinguished from and privileged above other animals by virtue of his possession of reason, or intellect. When the intellect is positively valued as that which is distinctively human and which confers superiority on man, the thought that different races of people differ by nature in their intellectual capacities has been used as a justification for a variety of racist attitudes and policies. Those of another race, of supposedly lesser intellectual development, are classified as less than fully human and therefore as needing to be accorded less than full human rights. Similarly, the thought that women are by nature intellectually inferior to men has been used as a justification for their domination by men, for refusing them education, and even for according them the legal status of property owned by men. On the other hand, if differences in adult intellectual capacity are regarded as a product of the circumstances in which potentially similar people are brought up, the attitude is to consider all as equally human but some as having been more privileged when growing up than others. (see also  sexism)

More radically, the evidence for variations in intelligence levels may be questioned by challenging the objectivity of the standards relative to which these levels are assessed. It may be argued that conceptions of what constitutes a rational or intelligent response to a situation or to a problem are themselves culturally conditioned, a product of the way in which the members of the group devising the tests and making the judgments have themselves been taught to think. Such an argument has the effect of undermining claims by any one human group to intellectual superiority over others, whether these others be their contemporaries or their own forebears. Hence, they may also be used to discredit any idea of a progressive development of human intellectual capacities. (see also  intelligence test)

These debates about intelligence and rationality provide an example of the complexity of the impact of evolutionary biology on conceptions of human nature, for the dominant traditions in Western thought about human nature have tended to concentrate attention more on what distinguishes man from other animals than on the strictly biological constitution that he largely shares with them. Possession of reason or intellect is far from being the only candidate considered for such a distinguishing characteristic. Man has been characterized as essentially a tool user, or fabricator (Homo faber), as essentially social, as essentially a language user, and so on. These represent differing views concerning the fundamental feature that gives rise to all the other qualities regarded as distinctively human and which serve to mark man off from other animals. These characteristics all centre on mental, intellectual, psychological--i.e., nonphysiological--characteristics and thus leave scope for debate about the relation between mind and body. So long as this question remains open, and so long as mental or intellectual constitution remains the central consideration in discussions of human nature, the question of changes in--and of the possible evolution of--human nature will remain relatively independent of those devoted to physiological change and hence of strictly biological evolution.

Until the 15th century the standard assumption was that man had a fixed nature, one that determined both his place in the universe and his destiny. The Renaissance humanists, however, proclaimed that what distinguishes man from all other creatures is that he has no nature. This was a way of asserting that man's actions are not bound by laws of nature in the way that those of other creatures are. Man is capable of taking responsibility for his own actions because he has the freedom to exercise his will. This view received two subsequent interpretations.

First, the human character is indefinitely plastic; each individual is given determinate form by the environment in which he is born, brought up, and lives. In this case, changes or developments in human beings will be regarded as the product of social or cultural changes, changes that themselves are often more rapid than biological evolution. It is thus to disciplines such as history, politics, and sociology, rather than to biology, that one should look for an understanding of these processes. But if disciplines such as these must constitute the primary study of man, then the question of the extent to which this can be a strictly scientific study arises. The methods of history are not, and cannot be, those of the natural sciences. And the legitimacy of the claims of the so-called social or human sciences to genuine scientific status has frequently been called into question and remains a focus for debate.

Second, each individual is autonomous and must "make" himself. Assertion of the autonomy of man involves rejection of the possibility of discovering laws of human behaviour or of the course of history, for freedom is precisely not being bound by law, by nature. In this case, the study of man can never be parallel to the natural sciences with their theoretical structures based on the discovery of laws of nature. (M.E.T.)

 

3 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF THE PHILOSOPHY OF MAN

In the tradition of Western thought up to the 20th century, the study of man has been regarded as a part of philosophy. Two sayings that have been adopted as mottoes by those who see themselves as engaged in philosophical anthropology date from the 5th century BC. These are: "Man is the measure of all things" (Protagoras) and "Know thyself" (a saying from the Delphic oracle, echoed by Heracleitus and Socrates, among others). Both reflect the specific orientation of philosophical anthropology as humanism, which takes man as its starting point and treats man and the study of man as the centre, or origin, on which all other disciplines ultimately depend.

Man, the world, and God have constituted three important foci of Western thought from the beginnings of its recorded history; the relative significance of these three themes, however, has varied from one epoch to another. Western thought has laid greater stress on the existence of the individual human being than have the great speculative systems of the East; in Brahmanism, for example, personal identity dissolves in the All. But even so it was not until the Renaissance that man became the primary focus of philosophical attention and that the study of human nature began to displace theology and metaphysics as "first philosophy"--the branch of philosophy that is regarded as forming the foundation for all subsequent philosophy and that provides the framework for all scientific investigation.

Philosophical Anthropology

3.1 Ancient Greece.

From late antiquity onward differing views of man were worked out within a framework that was laid down and given initial development by Plato and later by Aristotle. Plato and Aristotle concurred in according to metaphysics the status of first philosophy. Their differing views of man were a consequence of their differing metaphysical views.

Plato's metaphysics was dualistic: the everyday physical world of changeable things, which man comes to know by the use of his senses, is not the primary reality but is a world of appearances, or phenomenal manifestations, of an underlying timeless and unchanging reality, an immaterial realm of Forms that is knowable only by use of the intellect. This is the view expressed in the Republic in his celebrated metaphor of the cave, where the changeable physical world is likened to shadows cast on the wall of a cave by graven images. To know the real world the occupants of the cave must first turn around and face the graven images in the light that casts the shadows (i.e., use their judgment instead of mere fantasy) and, second, must leave the cave to study the originals of the graven images in the light of day (stop treating their senses as the primary source of knowledge and start using their intellects). Similarly, human bodily existence is merely an appearance of the true reality of human being. The identity of a human being does not derive from the body but from the character of his or her soul, which is an immaterial (and therefore nonsexual) entity, capable of being reincarnated in different human bodies. There is thus a divorce between the rational/spiritual and the material aspects of human existence, one in which the material is devalued. (see also  mind-body dualism, experience, idea)

Aristotle, however, rejected Plato's dualism. He insisted that the physical, changeable world made up of concrete individual substances (people, horses, plants, stones, etc.) is the primary reality. Each individual substance may be considered to be a composite of matter and form, but these components are not separable, for the forms of changeable things have no independent existence. They exist only when materially instantiated. This general metaphysical view, then, undercut Plato's body-soul dualism. Aristotle dismissed the question of whether soul and body are one and the same as being as meaningless as the question of whether a piece of wax and the shape given to it by a seal are one. The soul is the form of the body, giving life and structure to the specific matter of a human being. According to Aristotle, all human beings are the same in respect to form (that which constitutes them as human), and their individual differences are to be accounted for by reference to the matter in which this common form is variously instantiated (just as the different properties of golf and squash balls are derived from the materials of which they are made, while their common geometrical properties are related to their similar size and shape). This being so, it is impossible for an individual human soul to have any existence separate from the body. Reincarnation is thus ruled out as a metaphysical impossibility. Further, the physical differences between men and women become philosophically significant, the sex of a person becoming a crucial part of his or her identity.

Although Plato and Aristotle gave a different metaphysical status to forms, their role in promoting and giving point to investigations of human nature was very similar. They both agreed that it is necessary to have knowledge of human nature in order to determine when and how human life flourishes. It is through knowledge of shared human nature that we become aware of the ideals at which we should aim, achieved by learning what constitutes fulfillment of our distinctively human potential and the conditions under which this becomes possible. These ideals are objectively determined by our nature. But we are privileged in being endowed with the intellectual capacities that make it possible for us to have knowledge of this nature. Development of our intellectual capacities is thus a necessary part and precondition of a fulfilled human existence.

 

3.2 Medieval period.

Western medieval culture was dominated by the Christian Church. This influence was naturally reflected in the philosophy of the period. Theology, rather than metaphysics, tended to be given primacy, even though many of the structures of Greek philosophy, including its metaphysics, were preserved. The metaphysics of form and matter was readily assimilable into Christian thought, where forms became ideas in the mind of God, the patterns according to which he created and continues to sustain the universe. Christian theology, however, modified the positions, requiring some sort of compromise between Platonic and Aristotelian views. The creation story in the book of Genesis made man a creature among other creatures, but not a creature like other creatures; man was the product of the final act of divine initiative, was given responsibility for the Garden of Eden, and had the benefit of a direct relationship with his creator. The Fall and redemption, the categories of sin and grace, thus concern only the descendants of Adam, who were given a nature radically different from that of the animals and plants over which they were given dominion. Man alone can, after a life in this world, hope to participate in an eternal life that is far more important than the temporal life that he will leave. Thus, belief in a life after death makes it impossible to regard man as wholly a natural being and entails that the physical world now inhabited by man is not the sole, or even the primary, reality. Yet, the characteristically Christian doctrine of the resurrection of the body also entails that the human body cannot be regarded as being of significance only in the mortal, physical world. (see also  Middle Ages, Christianity, creation myth, afterlife)

Against the background of these constraints, Christian philosophy first, through the writings of St. Augustine, gave prominence to Platonic views. But this emphasis was superseded in the 12th century by the Aristotelianism of St. Thomas Aquinas. Augustine's God is a wholly immaterial, supremely rational, transcendent creator of the universe. The twofold task of the Christian philosopher, a lover of wisdom, is to seek knowledge of the nature of God and of his own soul, the human self. For Augustine the soul is not the entire man but his better part. There remains a Platonic tendency to regard the body as a prison for the soul and a mark of man's fallen state. One of the important consequences of Augustine's own pursuit of these two endeavours was the emphasis he came to place on the significance of free will. He argued that since the seat of the will was reason, when people exercise their will, they are acting in the image of God, the supreme rational being. Thomas Aquinas, while placing less emphasis on the will, also regarded man as acting in the image of God to the extent that he exercises and seeks to fulfill his intelligent nature. But he rejected the Platonic tendency to devalue the body, insisting that it is part of the concept of man that he have flesh and bone, as well as a soul.

But whatever the exact balance struck in the relation between the mind and body, the view of man was first and foremost as a creature of God; man was privileged by having been created in the image of God and given the gift of reason in virtue of which he also has free will and must take the burden of moral responsibility for his own actions. In order to fulfill his distinctively human nature man must thus order his thoughts and actions in such a way as to reflect the supremacy of religious values.

In popular medieval culture there was also, however, a strong undercurrent of thoroughly fatalistic thought. This was reflected in the popularity of astrology and alchemy, both of which appealed to the idea that events on Earth are governed by the influence of the heavenly bodies.

 

3.3 Renaissance.

It was in the cultural context of the Renaissance, and in particular with the Italian humanists and their imitators, that the centre of gravity of reflective thought descended from heaven to earth, with man, his nature, and his capacities and limitations becoming a primary focus of philosophical attention. This gave rise to the humanism that constitutes philosophical anthropology in the second sense. Man did not thereby cease to view himself within the context of the world, nor did he deny the existence of God; he did, however, disengage himself sufficiently from the bonds of cosmic determination and divine authority to become a centre of interest in his own eyes. In ancient literature the educated people of the West rediscovered a clear conscience instead of the guilty conscience of Christianity; at the same time, the great inventions and discoveries suggested that man could take pride in his accomplishments and regard himself with admiration. The themes of the dignity and excellence of man were prominent in Italian humanist thought and can be found clearly expressed in Giovanni Pico della Mirandola's influential De hominis dignitate oratio (Oration on the Dignity of Man), written in 1486. In this work Pico expresses a view of man that breaks radically with Greek and Christian tradition: what distinguishes man from the rest of creation is that he has been created without form and with the ability to make of himself what he will. Being without form or nature he is not constrained, fated, or determined to any particular destiny. Thus, he must choose what he will become. (In the words of the 20th-century existentialists, man is distinguished by the fact that for him existence precedes essence.) In this way man's distinctive characteristic becomes his freedom; he is free to make himself in the image of God or in the image of beasts.

This essentially optimistic view of man was a product of the revival of Neoplatonist thought. Its optimism is based on a view of man as at least potentially a nonnatural, godlike being. But this status is now one that must be earned; man must win his right to dominion over nature and in so doing earn his place beside God in the life hereafter. He must learn both about himself and about the natural world in order to be able to achieve this. This was, however, only one of two streams of humanist thought. The other (more Aristotelian) was essentially more pessimistic and skeptical, stressing the limitations on man's intellectual capacities. There is an insistence on the need to be reconciled to the fact of man's humanity rather than to persist in taking seriously his superhuman pretensions and aspirations. These two differently motivated movements to focus attention on man himself, on his nature, his abilities, his earthly condition, and his relation to his material environment became more clearly articulated in the 16th and 17th centuries in the opposition between the rationalist and empiricist approaches to philosophy.

 

4 THE 16TH AND 17TH CENTURIES: THE RISE OF SCIENTIFIC THOUGHT

 

4.1 Rationalism versus skepticism.

The thought of Michel de Montaigne, the 16th-century French skeptical author of the Essais (1580-95; Essays), represented one of the first attempts at anthropological reflection (i.e., reflection centred on man, which explores his different aspects in a spirit of empirical investigation that is freed from all ties to dogma). Skepticism, the adoption of an empirical approach, and liberation from dogmatic authority are linked themes stemming from the more pessimistic views of man's capacity for knowledge. The emphasis on man's humanity--on the limited nature of his capacities--leads to a denial that he can, even by the use of reason, transcend the realm of appearances; the only form of knowledge available to him is experimental knowledge, gained in the first instance by the use of the senses. The effect of this skeptical move was twofold. The first effect was a liberation from the dogmatic authority of claims to knowledge of a reality behind appearances and of moral codes based on them; skeptical arguments were to the effect that human beings are so constituted that such knowledge must always be unavailable to them. The second effect was a renewal of attention to and interest in the everyday world of appearances, which now becomes the only possible object of human knowledge and concern. The project of seeking knowledge of a reality behind appearances must be abandoned because it is beyond the scope of human understanding. And this applies as much to man himself as to the rest of the natural world; he can be known only experientially, as he appears to himself. (see also  empirical method)

The anthropology of Montaigne began with a turning in upon himself; it gave priority to that reality which was within. Montaigne, however, was also witness to a renewal of knowledge brought about by numerous discoveries that made the horizons of the traditional universe expand greatly. For him, self-awareness already reflected an awareness of the surrounding world; it wondered about the "savages" of America and about the cannibals that were so different from him and yet so near; it compared the intelligence of man with that of beasts and accepted the idea of a relationship between animal existence and human existence. The idea that moral codes are the work of man, rather than reflective of an objective order, opened up the possibility of recognizing the legitimate existence of a plurality of codes and thus of the empirical study--rather than an immediate condemnation and rejection--of the customs of others. (see also  consciousness )

 

4.1.1 Work of Descartes.

By contrast, the work of the 17th-century French philosopher René Descartes represented a continuation of the theme of optimism about man's capacities for knowledge. Descartes explicitly set out, in his Meditations (first published in 1641), to beat the skeptics at their own game. He used their methods and arguments in order to vindicate claims to be able to have nonexperimental knowledge of a reality behind appearances. The Meditations thus also begins with a turning in of Descartes upon himself but with the aim of finding there something that would lead beyond the confines of his own mind. (see also  rationalism, "Meditations on First Philosophy," )

Cartesianism occupies a key position in the history of modern Western philosophy; Descartes is treated as a founding father by most of its now diverse traditions. His work is characteristic of the philosophical effort of the 17th century, which was engaged in a struggle to achieve a synthesis between old established orders and the newly proclaimed freedoms that were based on a skeptical rejection of the older orders. There are undeniable tensions in the philosophy of this period that are the product of various unsuccessful attempts to reconcile two very different views of man in relation to God and the world.

The first, the authoritarian view, was that inherited from medieval philosophy and from Thomist theology. It derived its ideal of human freedom from the Stoic conception of the wise man, who, in the 17th century was called a man of honestas (the French concept of honnêteté). The man of honestas seeks freedom in the discovery of and obedience to the order and law on which the world is grounded. He believes that there is such a law, that he has a "place" in the scheme of things, and that he is bound to his fellow human beings by that nature through which he participates in this higher order. He tends to look to the authorities--whether these be church, state, or classical texts--for knowledge of this order, for it is not to be found at the level of experience; it is a "higher" order. His worldview is derived from a mixture of Platonic and Aristotelian (realist) metaphysics.

The second, the libertarian view, was that of the skeptical humanists--individualists and freethinkers, skeptical of any preestablished order, or at least of man's ability to know what it is or might be. The skeptical humanist is therefore untrammeled by it.He deploys skeptical arguments to release the individual from the constraints and demands of outer authorities. He is free to do what he wills or desires and to make his own destiny, for there can be no knowledge of objective norms. Human knowledge is limited to experience, to what is sensed, and people must therefore make their own order within experience. His view is descended from the via moderna of the medieval philosopher William of Ockham and the nominalists.

The synthesis sought was a position that would incorporate recognition of the individual and of his freedom under universal principles of order, a reconciliation of will with reason. This was sought via a nonauthoritarian conception of objective knowledge, which was the same conception that gave rise to modern science. This required, on the one hand, arguments to combat those of the skeptical freethinkers--arguments that demonstrated that there was an objective order external to human thought and that humans have the capacity not merely to know of its existence but also to discover something of its nature. On the other hand, it was necessary to establish, against the authorities, that each individual, insofar as he is rational, has the capacity to acquire knowledge for himself, by the proper use of his reason. It is this second requirement that produced numerous treatises on the scope and limits of human understanding and on the method of acquiring knowledge. The focus was now firmly fixed on the nature of human thought and on the procedures available to it. (see also  science, philosophy of)

Descartes utilized the skeptic's own arguments to urge a meditative turning inward. This inward journey was designed to show that each human being can come to knowledge of his intellectual self and that as he does so he will find within himself the idea of God, the mark of his creator, the mark that assures him of the existence of an objective order and of the objective validity of his rational faculties. The foundation and starting point of Cartesian knowledge is, for each individual, within himself, in his experience of the certainty that he must have of his own existence and in the idea of a perfect, infinite being, in other words, an idea that he finds within himself, of a being whose essence entails God's existence, and of whose existence man can thus be assured on the basis of his idea of God.

Descartes thus preserved and built on Montaigne's emphasis on self-consciousness, and this is what marks the changed orientation in philosophy that constitutes philosophical anthropology in the stricter, second sense. As the French scientist and religious philosopher Blaise Pascal realized, the question had now become one of whether man finds within himself the basis of loyalty to a universal order of reason and law with which his own thought and will is continuous, or whether he finds, by inner examination, that order, at least insofar as it can be known, is relative to his feeling, desire, and will.

The attempt to regain an objective order by looking inward apparently fails with the failure of Descartes's proofs of the existence of God, proofs that his contemporaries (even those who, like Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, were sympathetic to many aspects of the project) were quick to criticize. Reaction to this failure was twofold. In the work of rationalist philosophers, such as Spinoza, Leibniz, and Malebranche, there is a return to the classical Greek approach to philosophy through metaphysics. Empiricists, such as Locke, Condillac, and Hume, on the other hand, retain the Cartesian, introspective basis seeking what Hume calls a mitigated skepticism. This is a position that recognizes essential limitations placed on human cognitive capacities by assuming that experience is the only source of knowledge, but that affirms the value of the knowledge so gained and seeks to define the project of natural science as a quest for objective order within this domain. (see also  ontological argument)

 

4.1.2 Work of Locke.

John Locke, for instance, argued that while man cannot prove that the material world exists, his senses give him evidence affording all the certainty that he needs. Locke's position is, however, essentially dualist: mind and body remain distinct even though pretensions to intellectual transcendence are given up. Moreover, Locke regarded it as in principle impossible for humans to have any understanding of the relation between mind and body. All perceptions of one's own body, as of the rest of the material world, are ideas in one's mind. It is impossible to adopt any vantage point outside oneself from which to observe the correlation between a condition of one's body and one's perception of this condition. Where other people are concerned, their bodies and behaviour can be observed but an observer can have no direct perception of what is going on in their minds. There is thus a bifurcation in the study of man. The mind and its contents are known to each person by introspection; it is presumed that the minds of all people work in basically the same way so that introspection provides evidence for human psychology. Other people, their bodies, and their behaviour are known by observation in exactly the same way that knowledge of any other natural object is obtained. One infers from their behaviour that they have minds like one's own and on this basis attributes psychological states to them.

In keeping with this bifurcation Locke distinguished between the terms "man" and "person," reserving "man" for the animal species, an object of study for natural historians. "Person" is used to denote the moral subject, the being who can be held responsible for his actions and thus praised, blamed, or punished. According to Locke, what constitutes a person is a characteristic continuity of consciousness, which is not merely rational thought but the full range of mental states accessible to introspection. Just as a tree is a characteristic organization of life functions sustained by exchanges of matter, so a person is a characteristic organization of mental functions continuing through changes in ideas (the matter of thought). A person can be held responsible for an action only if he acknowledges that action as one which he performed; i.e., one of which he is conscious and remembers having performed.

The empiricist position thus opens up the possibility of empirical studies both of man as a natural and as a moral being and puts these studies on a par with the natural sciences. But it does so in such a way that the resulting picture lacks any integral unity, for man is an incomprehensible union of body and mind.

 

4.2 Development of anthropological studies.

A renewed study of the natural history of man was stimulated by European encounters with the great anthropoid apes of Africa (Angola) and Asia (the Sunda Islands) at the beginning of the 16th century. Until then Europe had known only the smaller monkeys, which were too far removed from the human species to present any confusion. The discovery of the chimpanzee and the orangutan (meaning "man of the woods" in Malay) raised such questions as whether the anthropoid, who resembles man, is an animal or a man, and why it should be considered an ape and not a man. In the climate of opinion--typified by Locke and fostered by the Royal Society of London, with its enthusiasm for empirical observation--these questions prompted the detailed observational studies of a leading member of the society, Edward Tyson. (see also  physical anthropology)

 

4.2.1 Work of Tyson.

Tyson had the opportunity to study the remains of a young chimpanzee (named Pygmie) from Angola that had died in London several months after its arrival. His research was published by the Royal Society in 1699 under the title Orang-Outang, sive Homo Sylvestris: or, The Anatomy of a Pygmie Compared with That of a Monkey, an Ape, and a Man. This treatise, a landmark in anthropology and comparative anatomy, is remarkable for the empirical approach used in the investigation. Tyson's precise measurements, his complete exploration of the external and internal structures of the animal, and his minutely detailed sketches permitted him to pose what is perhaps the central problem of physical anthropology: whether it is possible to find among the anatomical or physiological characteristics of the ape the justification for asserting a radical difference between ape and man, notwithstanding all their similarities. He analyzed in great detail the similarities and dissimilarities between a chimpanzee and a man. He emphasized the fact that the ape is a quadrumane (having four hands) rather than a quadruped (having four feet); unlike the human foot, its foot has an opposable, and thus thumblike, big toe. The arrangement of the internal organs allows the erect posture that makes the ape similar to man. But on an analysis of the form and mass of the brain and speech apparatus, Tyson concluded that he was unable to determine, from a strictly anatomical point of view, why the ape is incapable of thinking and speaking.

Integral to the empiricism that forms the philsophical background to Tyson's work was a rejection of the whole notion of forms or essences as objectively determining fixed and strict demarcations within the natural world. Classification was the work of man imposed upon a natural continuum, which replaced the older ladderlike conception of the Chain of Being. This encouraged a quest for "missing links," examples of intermediary forms between those already recognized. For example, zoophytes (invertebrate animals resembling plants, such as sponges) were said to form the link between the vegetable order and the animal order. For Tyson, the chimpanzee was the missing link between animal and man.

 

4.2.2 Emergence of cultural anthropology.

If physical anthropology was born out of Western man's encounter with the anthropoid apes, cultural anthropology was made necessary by his encounter with people in the rest of the world during the great voyages of discovery begun in the 15th century. Cultural anthropology became the product of the confrontation between the classical values of the West and the opposing values and customs of newly discovered civilizations. (see also  overseas exploration)

The "savage" appeared to manifest a style of humanity that was a contradiction of the certainties that had sustained Europeans for centuries. The shock was such that the naked Indian and the cannibal were at first assumed not to belong to the human race; this approach enabled Europeans to avoid the problem. This solution was, however, rejected by Pope Paul III in 1537 in his bull, or decree, Sublimus Deus ("The Transcendent God"), according to which Indian savages were human beings; they had souls and, as such, could be initiated into the Christian religion. This left the problem of how to reconcile the increasingly manifest human diversity with the theological requirement of human unity. One solution was to account for diversity in terms of environment, including cultural environment, and to regard the "savage" as a "primitive," as a "man of nature," who remained close to an initial state from which a privileged part of humanity had been able to remove itself by a continued effort at community and individual advancement. A study of the history of man endeavoured to bring to light the successive stages through which the human species had passed along the way to the present civilized societies. The themes of "civilization" and "progress" were among the principal preoccupations of the Enlightenment.

 

5 THE 18TH-CENTURY ENLIGHTENMENT

What has come to be known as the Enlightenment is characterized by an optimistic faith in the ability of man to develop progressively by using reason. By coming to know both himself and the natural world better he is able to develop morally and materially, increasingly dominating both his own animal instincts and the natural world that forms his environment. However, the divergence between rationalist and empiricist traditions continues, giving rise to rather different interpretations of this theme.

 

5.1 The natural history of man.

The writings of the Scottish philosopher David Hume give a clear statement of the implications of empiricist epistemology for the study of man. Hume argued first that scientific knowledge of the natural world can consist only of conjectures as to the laws, or regularities, to be found in the sequence of natural phenomena. Not only must the causes of the phenomenal regularities remain unknown but the whole idea of a reality behind and productive of experience must be discounted as making no sense, for experience can afford nothing on the basis of which to understand such talk. Given that this is so, and given that man also observes regularities in human behaviour, the sciences of man are possible and can be put on exactly the same footing as the natural sciences. The observed regularities of human conduct can be systematically recorded and classified, and this is all that any science can or should aim to achieve. Explanation of these regularities (by reference to the essence of man) is not required in the sciences of man any more than explanation of regularities is required in the natural sciences. (see also  social science)

Man thus becomes an object of study by natural history in the widest possible sense. All observations--whether of physiology, behaviour, or culture--contribute to the empirical knowledge of man. There is no need, beyond one of convenience, to compartmentalize these observations, since the method of study is the same whether marital customs or skin colour is the topic of investigation; the aim is to record observations in a systematic fashion making generalizations where possible. Such investigations into the natural history of man were undertaken by Linnaeus, Buffon, and Blumenbach, among others.

In his Systema Naturae (1735), the Swedish naturalist Carolus Linnaeus (Carl von Linné) gave a very precise description of man, placing him among the mammals in the order of primates, alongside the apes and the bat. But the distinguishing characteristic of man remains his use of reason; something that is not dependent on any physiological characteristics. Moreover, the variations that are to be found within the genus Homo sapiens are the product of culture and climate. In later editions of Systema Naturae, Linnaeus presented a summary of the diverse varieties of the human species. The Asian, for example, is "yellowish, melancholy, endowed with black hair and brown eyes," and has a character that is "severe, conceited, and stingy. He puts on loose clothing. He is governed by opinion." The African is recognizable by the colour of his skin, by his kinky hair, and by the structure of his face. "He is sly, lazy, and neglectful. He rubs his body with oil or grease. He is governed by the arbitrary will of his masters." As for the white European, "he is changeable, clever, and inventive. He puts on tight clothing. He is governed by laws." Here mentality, clothes, political order, and physiology are all taken into account.

The French naturalist Georges Leclerc, comte de Buffon, devoted two of the 44 volumes of his Histoire naturelle, général et particulière (1749-1804) to man as a zoological species. Buffon criticized Linnaeus' system and all other systems of classification that depended only on external characteristics; to force individual objects into a rational set of categories was to impose an artificial construct on nature. He was echoing arguments that Locke had used, arguments based on the conception of the Great Chain of Being as a continuum, not as a sequence of discrete steps. An artificial taxonomy came from the mind, not from nature, and achieved precision at the expense of verisimilitude. Buffon's answer was to determine species not by characteristics but by their reproductive history. Two individual animals or plants are of the same species if they can produce fertile offspring. Species as so defined necessarily have a temporal dimension: a species is known only through the history of its propagation. This means that it is absurd to use the same principles for classifying living and nonliving things. Rocks do not mate and have offspring, so the taxonomy of the mineral kingdom cannot be based on the same principles as that of the animal and vegetable kingdom. Similarly, according to Buffon, there is "an infinite distance" between animal and man, for "man is a being with reason, and the animal is one without reason." Thus, "the most stupid of men can command the most intelligent of animals . . . because he has a reasoned plan, an order of actions, and a series of means by which he can force the animal to obey him." The ape, even if in its external characteristics it is similar to man, is deprived of thought and all that is distinctive of man. Ape and man differ in temperament, in gestation period, in the rearing and growth of the body, in length of life, and in all the habits that Buffon regarded as constituting the nature of a particular being. Most important, apes and other animals lack the ability to speak. This is significant in that Buffon saw the rise of human intelligence as a product of development of an articulated language. But this linguistic ability is the primary manifestation of the presence of reason and is not merely dependent on physiology. Animals lack speech not because they cannot produce articulated sound sequences, but because, lacking minds, they have no ideas to give meaning to these sounds.

The German scholar Johann Friedrich Blumenbach is recognized as the father of physical anthropology for his work De Generis Humani Varietate Nativa ("On the Natural Variety of Mankind"), published in 1775 or 1776. He also regarded language as an important distinguishing characteristic of man, but added that it is only man who is capable of laughing and crying. Perhaps most important is the suggestion, also made by the American statesman Benjamin Franklin, that it is only man who has hands that make him capable of fashioning tools. This was a suggestion that broke new ground in that it opened up the possibility of speculating on a physiological origin for the development of intellectual capacities.

 

5.2 Man the rational subject.

The great German philosopher Immanuel Kant credited Hume with having wakened him from his dogmatic slumbers. But while Kant concurred with Hume in rejecting the possibility of taking metaphysics as a philosophical starting point (dogmatic metaphysics), he did not follow him in dismissing the need for metaphysics altogether. Instead he returned to the Cartesian project of seeking to find in the structure of consciousness itself something that would point beyond it.

Thus, Kant started from the same point as the empiricists, but with Cartesian consciousness--the experience of the individual considered as a sequence of mental states. But instead of asking the empiricists' question of how it is that man acquires such concepts as number, space, or colour, he enquired into the conditions under which the conscious awareness of mental states--as states of mind and as classifiable states distinguished by what they purport to represent--is possible. The empiricist simply takes the character of the human mind--consciousness and self-consciousness--for granted as a given of human nature and then proceeds to ask questions concerning how experience, presumed to come in the form of sense perceptions, gives rise to all of man's various ideas and ways of thinking. The methods proposed for this investigation are observational, and thus the study is continuous with natural history. The enterprise overlaps with what would now be called cognitive psychology but includes introspection regarded simply as self-observation. But this clearly begs a number of questions, in particular, how the empiricist can claim knowledge of the human mind and of the character of the experience that is the supposed origin of all ideas.

Even Hume was forced to admit that self-observation, or introspection, given the supposed model of experience as a sequence of ideas and impressions, can yield nothing more than an impression of current or immediately preceding mental states. Experiential self-knowledge, on this model, is impossible. The knowing subject, by his effort to know himself, is already changing himself so that he can only know what he was, not what he is. Thus, any empirical study, whether it be of man or of the natural world, must be based on foundations that can only be provided by a nonempirical, philosophical investigation into the conditions of the possibility of the form of knowledge sought. Without this foundation an empirical study cannot achieve any unified conception of its object and never will be able to attain that systematic, theoretically organized character that is demanded of science.

The method of such philosophical investigation is that of critical reflection--employing reason critically--not that of introspection or inner observation. It is here that the origin of what has come to be regarded as philosophical anthropology in the stricter, third sense (i.e., 20th-century humanism) can be identified, since there is an insistence that studies of the knowing and moral subject must be founded in a philosophical study. But there remain questions about the humanity of Kant's subject. Kant's position was still firmly dualist; the conscious subject constitutes itself through the opposition between experience of itself as free and active (in inner sense) and of the thoroughly deterministic, mechanistic, and material world (in the passive receptivity of outer sense). The subject with which philosophy is thus concerned is finite and rational, limited by the constraint that the content of its knowledge is given in the form of sense experience rather than pure intellectual intuition. This is not a differentiated individual subject but a form of which individual minds are instantiations. The ideals regulating this subject are purely rational ideals. This tendency is even more marked in the philosophies of Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel.

Humanist thought is anthropocentric in that it places man at the centre and treats him as the point of origin. There are different ways of doing this, however, two of which are illustrated in the works of Locke and Kant, respectively. The first, realist, position assumes at the outset a contrast between an external, independently existing world and the conscious human subject. In this view man is presented as standing "outside" of the physical world that he observes. This conception endorses an instrumental view of the relation between man and the nonhuman, natural world and is therefore most frequently found to be implicit in the thought of those enthusiastic about modern technological science. Nature, from this viewpoint, exists for man, who by making increasingly accurate conjectures as to the laws governing the regular succession of natural events is able to increase his ability to predict them and so to control his environment. (see also  realism)

The second, idealist position, argues that the world exists only in being an object of human thought; it exists only by virtue of man's conceptualization of it. In the form in which Kant expressed this position the thought that constitutes the material, physical world, is that of a transcendent mind, of which the actual minds of humans are merely vehicles. (see also  idealism)

There is also a third, dialectical, form of anthropocentrism, which, although it did not emerge fully until the 19th century, was prefigured in the works of Vico and Herder. From this standpoint the relation between man and nature is regarded as an integral part to the dynamic whole of which it is a part. The world is what it is as a result of being lived in and transformed by human beings, while people, in turn, acquire their character from their existence in a particular situation within the world. Any thought about the world is concerned with a world as lived through a subject, who is also part of the world about which he thinks. There is no possibility of transcendence in thought to some external, non-worldly standpoint. Such a position wants both to grant the independent existence of the world and to stress the active and creative role of human beings within it. It is within this relatively late form of humanism--which arose from a synthesis of elements of the Kantian position, with the insights of the Italian Giambattista Vico and the German Johann Gottfried von Herder--that philosophical anthropology in the third sense can be located.

Vico's Scienza nuova (1725; The New Science of Giambattista Vico) announced not so much a new science as the need to recognize a new form of scientific knowledge. He argued (against empiricists) that the study of man must differ in its method and goals from that of the natural world. This is because the nature of man is not static and unalterable; a person's own efforts to understand the world and adapt it to his needs, physical and spiritual, continuously transform that world and himself. Each individual is both the product and the support of a collective consciousness that defines a particular moment in the history of the human spirit. Each epoch interprets the sum of its traditions, norms, and values in such a way as to impose a model for behaviour on daily life as well as on the more specialized domains of morals and religion and art. Given that those who make or create something can understand it in a way in which mere observers of it cannot, it follows that if, in some sense, people make their own history, they can understand history in a way in which they cannot understand the natural world, which is only observed by them. The natural world must remain unintelligible to man; only God, as its creator, fully understands it. History, however, being concerned with human actions, is intelligible to humans. This means, moreover, that the succession of phases in the culture of a given society or people cannot be regarded as governed by mechanistic, causal laws. To be intelligible these successions must be explicable solely in terms of human, goal-directed activity. Such understanding is the product neither of sense perception nor of rational deduction but of imaginative reconstruction. Here Vico asserted that, even though a person's style of thought is a product of the phase of culture in which he participates, it is nonetheless possible for him to understand another culture and the transitions between cultural phases. He assumed that there is some underlying commonality of the needs, goals, and requirement for social organization that makes this possible. (see also  history, philosophy of)

Herder denied the existence of any such absolute and universally recognized goals. This denial carried the disturbing implication that the specific values and goals pursued by various human cultures may not only differ but also may not all be mutally compatible. Hence, not only may cultural transitions not all be intelligible, but conflict may not be an attribute of the human condition that can be eliminated. If this is so, then the notion of a single code of precepts for the harmonious, ideal way of life, which underlies mainstream Western thought and to which--whether they know it or not--all human beings aspire, could not be sustained. There will be many ways of living, thinking, and feeling, each self-validating but not mutually compatible or comparable nor capable of being integrated into a harmonious pluralistic society.

 

6 THE 19TH CENTURY

The 19th century was a time of greatly increased activity in the sciences of man. There was a correspondingly rapid development of various disciplines, but this was accompanied by increasing specialization within disciplines. Perhaps the most significant theme, common to all branches of science, was the declining influence of religion. The philosophers of the Enlightenment had concurred in thinking that the transcendence of God doomed to failure any attempt to encompass him within the framework of human discourse. Theological discourse was thus only human discourse. Herder had stated, "It is necessary to read the Bible in a human manner, for it is a book written by men for men." Even so, he insisted, "The fact that religion is integrally human is a profound sign in recognition of its truth." But with human truth the only available truth, such a line was hard to maintain, and by the late 19th century the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche had announced that God was dead.

But the death of God also meant that the essence of God in every man was dead--that which was common to all and that in virtue of which the individual transcended the natural, material world and his purely biological nature. Also dead was the part of a person that recognized universal God-given ideals of reason and truth, goodness and beauty. There thus emerged views of man that, while integrating him more thoroughly with the natural world--treating his incarnation as an essential aspect of his condition--had to come to terms with the consequences for science, morality, and the study of man himself of the removal of a transcendent support for belief in absolute standards or ideals.

The presumption of a fixed human nature was undercut at the level of natural history by the emergence and eventual acceptance of evolutionary biology. This added a historical, developmental dimension to the natural history of man, which complimented developmental views of culture and of man as a culturally constituted being. But more importantly, evolutionary biology made man a direct descendant of nonhuman primates and suggested that the gift of reason, which so many had seen as establishing a gulf between man and animal, might too have developed gradually and might indeed have a physiological basis.

Even though Buffon had tied classification to the ability to reproduce, and had thus introduced a temporal dimension into the characterization of species, he had retained the idea of stable species. But a static classification could not explain the dynamic relations between isolated species. A primitive time line of natural history thus developed. The relationship of families led to the idea of filiation between them according to an order of succession. The interpretation of fossils aroused impassioned debates. From them have arisen concepts of mutation (the process by which thegenetic material of a cell is altered), transformism (the theory that one species is changed into another), and evolution. These concepts, already being formulated in the 18th century, were clarified in the work of Lamarck and Darwin.

The evolutionary theory of Charles Darwin's Origin of Species (1859) differed from that of Jean-Baptiste de Lamarck in that it proposed a mechanistic, nonpurposive account of evolution as the product of the natural selection of randomly produced genetic mutations (survival of the fittest). Advantageous characteristics acquired by an individual were not, as Lamarck had thought, inherited and therefore could not play a role in evolutionary development.

The theme of continuity with the rest of the natural world was one that was also to be found in the very different, antiscientific thought of Romanticism, which was one of the reactions to the rise of the doctrine of mechanism and to the Industrial Revolution for which it was held responsible. The experience of the Industrial Revolution was crucial to most 19th-century thought about man. Reactions to this experience can be put into three broad categories. There were those who saw in industrialization the progressive triumph of reason over nature, making possible the march of civilization and the moral triumph of reason over animal instinct. This was a view that continued the spirit of the Enlightenment, with its confidence in reason and the ability to advance through science. Into this category can be put the English philosopher John Stuart Mill, a stout defender of liberal individualism. Mill's philosophy was in many respects a continuation of that of Hume but with the addition of Jeremy Bentham's utilitarian view that the foundation of all morality is the principle that one should always act so as to produce the greatest happiness of the greatest number. This ethical principle gives a prominent place to the sciences of man (which are conceived as being parallel in method to the natural sciences), their study deemed necessary for an empirical determination of the social and material conditions that produce the greatest general happiness. This is a non-dialectical, naturalistic humanism, which gives primacy to the individual and stresses the importance of his freedom. For Mill, all social phenomena, and therefore ultimately all social changes, are products of the actions of individuals. (see also  Utilitarianism)

The humanist opponents of capitalist industrialization fall into two groups, both presuming some form of dialectical humanism: those who, like Marx, retained a faith in the scientific application of reason and those who, like Goethe and Schiller, fundamentally questioned the humanity of mechanistic science and the technology it spawned.

The Romantics questioned the instrumental conception of the relation between man and nature, which is fundamental to the thinking behind much technological science. They insisted on an organic relation between man and the rest of nature. It is not man's place outside of nature that is emphasized but his situation within it. Equally central to this view was a recognition of the historicity of human culture and a rejection of any conception of a fixed, determined human nature on which a science of man parallel in structure to the natural sciences (i.e., a science with laws, whether empirical or rational, that determine the actions and the historical development of mankind) could be based. There was a continued commitment to the perspective of the individual, and his creative relation with the world, an orientation that was carried over into the philosophical anthropology of 20th-century phenomenologists and existentialists, with their critiques of modern industrial science.

The Marxist opposition to capitalist industrialization is not to industrialization as such but to capitalist forms of it. This opposition is founded on socialism, which stresses the role of social structures; it is at the level of society--its structures and its economic base of production--that the course of history can be understood. Marx emphasized the importance of labour and work in man's relation both to the natural and to the social worlds in which he finds himself and which condition his ability to realize himself through these relationships. He deplored the loss of humanity associated with capitalist industrialization, which was manifest in the alienating conditions under which members of the working class were treated as objects and thus deprived of their full status as human subjects by their industrial masters. Nonetheless, he retained a faith in scientific knowledge and in the possibility of a scientific understanding of history by integrating its economic, social, and political aspects. Marx argued, however, that it was not reason but revolution that would cause the overthrow of the capitalist system. (see also  Marxism)

Common to all of these reactions is that whether they privileged reason or not they did not seek to validate the claims of reason--and hence the claims of science--by reference to a rational God. But with this transcendent guarantor removed, the question of the objectivity of rational standards and of the commonality of human thought structures became pressing. The Cartesian starting point focused attention on thought as a sequence of ideas, knowable only to the individual concerned. Animals, even if capable of uttering structured sound sequences, were denied linguistic abilities on the ground that these sound sequences could not be the expressions of thoughts and could not have meaning; lacking minds, animals also lack ideas, the thoughts that give words their meaning. According to this view, words are simply conventionally established vehicles for the communication of thoughts that exist prior to, and independent of, their linguistic expression. However, if it is not assumed that human minds are all instantiations of a single transcendent mind, or that although individual they were created from a common pattern, this account of linguistic communication must appear inadequate. Since according to Cartesianism introspection is the only route to awareness of ideas, each person can only ever be aware of his own ideas, never of those of another. He could never know that his attempts to communicate succeed in calling up in another person's mind ideas similar to those in his own. Some new way of looking at linguistic communication was required, and this could be nothing short of a new starting point, a new way of thinking about thought itself.

 

7 THE 20TH CENTURY: EMERGENCE OF PHILOSOPHICAL ANTHROPOLOGY

The mood of the late 19th century, which has also dominated 20th-century philosophy, can be characterized as anti-psychologistic--a rejection of introspective, idea-oriented ways of thinking about thought, which presume that thought is prior to language. This fundamental reorientation had implications for every other aspect of the study of man. The writers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries who most influenced subsequent philosophical thought about man were Gottlob Frege, Edmund Husserl, Ferdinand de Saussure, and Sigmund Freud. Each helped to transform one of the three reactions to the Industrial Revolution outlined above, to bring it into accord with the new, anti-psychologistic orientation: Frege influenced the empiricist, scientific reaction; Husserl the Romantic; and Saussure and Freud the scientific Socialist.

 

7.1 Frege and empiricist anthropology.

Frege argued that if language is to be a vehicle for the expression of objective, scientific knowledge of the world, then the meaning (cognitive content) of a linguistic expression must be the same for all users of the language to which it belongs and must be determined independently of the psychological states of any individual. A word may call up a variety of ideas in the mind of an individual user, but these are not part of its meaning. Such associations may be important to the poet but are irrelevant to the scientist. The function of language in the expression of scientific knowledge is to represent an independently existing world. The meanings of linguistic expressions must thus derive from their relation to the world, not from their relation to the minds of language users. Similarly, logic--embodying the principles of reasoning and the standards of rationality--must be concerned not with laws of human thought, but with laws of truth. The principles of correct reasoning must be justified by reference to the function of language in representing the world correctly or incorrectly rather than by reference to human psychology.

It is for his work on formal logic, which stemmed from these ideas, that Frege is renowned, because it opened the way for the mechanical reproduction of reasoning processes, which was crucial to the development of information processing by computers and for devices capable of artificial intelligence. Frege argued that the principles of deductive reasoning are purely formal principles, which means that their correct application does not depend on an ability to understand the sentences involved, so long as they have been put into the correct logical form. To give an account of the meaning of a sentence requires that it be analyzed so as to reveal its logical form. The logical analysis of everyday and scientific language thus becomes a primary focus of philosophical activity, hence the name "analytic philosophy" for the tradition, predominating in Great Britain, North America, and Australasia that can be regarded as post-Fregean philosophy. In this tradition the focus is on the analysis of rational, human thought, where it is presumed that the only correct way to do this is to analyze the logical structure of language.

Thus language has replaced God as the locus of rationality and of principles of reason; and the language-world relation has taken over many of the roles previously played by the God-world relation. The individual participates in a rationality that is independent of him to the extent that he is a language user. The position assumes that standards of rationality are absolute, since they are seen as necessarily governing the meaning structures of all languages. The linguist Noam Chomsky proposed a thesis that was regarded as being complimentary to this philosophical position, namely that of a universal grammar--a formal structure that underlies all languages, no matter how diverse their grammatical forms seem on the surface. Moreover, he suggested that all humans have the same innate capacity to learn language, which explains why it is that they all structure their languages, and hence their thought, in the same way.

A further assumption (christened the "principle of charity" by the American philosopher Donald Davidson) is that all humans are rational and that the majority of human behaviour is to be explained as rational, given the beliefs and desires of the person concerned. This, together with the view that language is the locus of rationality and the embodiment of thought, leads to the view that the primary objective of the sciences of man is to interpret the language of a community under study so as to attribute beliefs and desires to its members on the basis of what they say, and so give some explanation of their behaviour. The interpretation is deemed incorrect if the attributed beliefs and desires result in too much behaviour being portrayed as irrational. There will then be a mutual adjustment between language interpretation and the explanation of behaviour in which there can be no final separation of the two and no such thing as a uniquely correct interpretation. There is thus no hope of finding laws linking psychological states of belief or desire to physiological states, even though, by maintaining that each mental event is just a physical event under a different description, a dualism of mind and body is denied. What remains is an irreducible dualism between physiological and psychosocial studies of man. The situation is frequently explained by utilizing a computer analogy (for the computer is, in this view, man creating a machine in his own image). The relation between the structures of thought and the body is likened to the relation between computer software and hardware; the same hardware may be used to run different software, and the same software may be run on different hardware. The two descriptions of computer functioning are thus relatively independent.

In this account the consciousness of the individual plays little explicit role, but a model of man is nevertheless implicit in the whole approach. It is still basically the model employed by Hume, with experience consisting of sensory stimuli. Experience of other people is thus limited to observation of their physical and behavioral characteristics. It is on the basis of such observations that we have to make conjectures about their mental states. What has changed is the method of making such attributions. It is not sufficient to argue by analogy from introspection; any attribute of rational or mental faculties must go via an analytic interpretation of the language spoken. But with the assumption that all languages must share a common logical structure in virtue of their function in representing the world, there is also an inbuilt presumption of a uniformity in the rational structure of all human thought.

 

7.2 Husserl and philosophical anthropology.

Husserl is regarded as the founder of phenomenology. He, like Frege, wished to avoid the so-called psychologism of idea-based discussions of thought and rejected naturalistic approaches to the study of the mind and of what passes for rational thought. He, too, believed that laws of reasoning needed to be validated by reference to the objects of thought, but he did not agree that logic could be made purely formal and independent of the particular subject matter in hand, nor did he agree that the primary focus should be on language. Indeed, he rejected the position from which Frege started, namely, the assumption that there is a clear separation between the knowing subject and an independently existing reality that is the object of his knowledge. This assumption, Husserl argued, reveals a blindness to the conditions, or presuppositions, involved in all knowledge and already analyzed in part by Kant. Husserl adopted Kant's strategy but in a more radical form that was designed to restore the in-the-worldness of the human subject.

The program of phenomenology aimed at rigorous understanding of the life-world. Kant had explored the conditions of the possibility of experience, and in so doing he had presumed that this experience was always that of an "I," a subject. Husserl also asked after the conditions for the possibility of a consciousness that is always potentially self-conscious. He claimed that all consciousness is intentional; i.e., is consciousness of something. The method pursued was a phenomenal investigation of the "contents of consciousness." This required the investigator to "bracket off" all theories, presuppositions, and evidence of existence, including his own existence. There could be no dogmas. The implication was still that the individual can, in principle, abstract from every influence of culture and environment by abstracting also from that element of consciousness that involves awareness of self. It was presumed that consciousness as such had structures that would then be revealed. It is only self-conscious thought that is culturally constituted; for Husserl, each human individual is by necessity socially and historically conditioned by his environment. But even so it has to be doubted whether the required abstraction from self is possible in the sort of consciousness--i.e., reflective rational thought--that is required of a rigorous phenomenological analysis.

Descartes and his successors had taken the self, the individual subject, for granted and in the process inevitably had assigned to the knowing subject a position outside, beyond, or transcending the world of which he sought knowledge. Husserl, by putting the individual subject into the field of philosophical investigation, paved the way for investigations of the human condition that start with the concrete, with man's being-in-the world. In this respect he can also be regarded as the founder of philosophical anthropology in the narrowest sense of the term: the personal unity of the human being becomes both the point of departure and the goal of philosophical reflection. The use of philosophical anthropology to characterize this approach emerged in the first half of the 20th century with the tendency both in Germany and in France to treat the problems of anthropology as the centre of all philosophical studies. Its emergence at this time may be seen as a reaction to the totalitarian systems of the 20th century: Italian Fascism, Soviet Communism under Stalin, and German Nazism were powerful ideologies calling for the annihilation of the individual character of the person. The philosophical protests of the German phenomenologist Max Scheler, of the Russian existentialist Nikolay Berdyayev, of the Jewish philosophical theologian Martin Buber, and of the French personalist Emmanuel Mounier offered answers to this challenge; the philosophies of the person and of existence present to each individual the means to centre himself upon himself.

 

7.2.1 Work of Heidegger.

Husserl's work not only gave rise to phenomenology but also to the existentialist ideas of Martin Heidegger and Jean-Paul Sartre. Heidegger adopted the method of phenomenology but rejected Husserl's refusal to allow existence to feature in the phenomenological starting point. Heidegger argued for a philosophy in which man's being-in-the-world is registered, and where this being (existence) precedes any determination of what man is (his essence).

In his Brief über den "Humanismus" (1947; Brief Letter on Humanism), Heidegger wrote:

Are we really on the right track toward the essence of man as long as we set him off as one living creature among others in contrast to plants, beasts and God? . . . when we do this we abandon man to the essential realm of animalitas but attribute a specific difference to him. In principle we are still thinking of homo animalitas--even when anima (soul) is posited as animus sive mens, and this in turn is later posited as subject, person, or spirit (geist). Such positing is in the manner of metaphysics.

Naturalistic definitions of man fail, because like all traditional metaphysical definitions they naively assume that we know what we mean when we say of something that it is; i.e., when we ascribe being to it.

Humanity and the world form a whole in which neither is privileged. The focus shifts from intentional objects of consciousness to the world itself, a world of objects that appear (and hence exist as individualized objects) only insofar as they have meaning and significance for human beings, by virtue of the way in which they relate to human projects. A fallen tree branch is noticed as firewood only by one who is in search of fuel. Similarly, events are noticed and recorded and so become historical events but only in the light of the meaning that they have for the historian. This means that neither history nor the study of man can be objective and purely factual history. History is always a story about the past from someone who has a specific vantage point within history.

 

7.2.2 Work of Sartre and other existentialists.

Sartre, in L'Être et le néant (1943; Being and Nothingness), tried to tread a middle line between Husserl and Heidegger, retaining the concrete in-the-worldness of Heidegger while restoring a place for intentional consciousness. He hoped to provide an account of, as he put it, intentional-consciousness-in-the-world-as-it-is-lived. Sartre's driving belief was in human freedom, the ability to choose not only a course of action but also what one would become. Neither Husserl, with his already structured and regulated consciousness, nor Heidegger, with his world that is already given meaning, left enough room for freedom. (see also  free will)

Sartre insisted on the dualism of being (thingness) and consciousness (no-thingness) and of the individual in itself and for itself. The disjunction between these is absolute: no state of the world can determine human action, even to the extent of providing a motive, or reason, for action. If man is truly free, the world, whether material or social, can place no constraints on him, not even to the extent of determining what would or would not be good reasons for following a given course of action. He must create his own values and his own morality and take responsibility for his choices. Sartre's critics pointed out, however, that this total freedom dissolves into arbitrariness and randomness. An action that is selected at whim, chosen without (or beyond) reason, and that recognizes no rational constraints, is more an abandonment to fate than an assertion of freedom; where there is no basis for decision there is simply the necessity to choose. (see also  mind)

In his later writings, and in particular the Critique de la raison dialectique (1960; Critique of Dialectical Reason), which attempts a reconciliation between existentialism and Marxism, Sartre came to recognize that there are constraints on the exercise of human freedom. He first acknowledged that man is a creature with biological needs, who must eat, drink, shelter, and clothe himself as a condition of being able to engage in other kinds of activity; and, second, he saw the struggle against need as conditioned by the fact that it takes place in conditions of scarcity. This means that there is competition for resources and thus the ever-present likelihood that the realization of an individual's freedom will limit that of another. Each individual in these conditions experiences others as possible threats to his own freedom (i.e., he experiences alienation).

Individuals whose freedom is in this way conditioned, not just by naturally occurring material conditions but by the materiality of human practice, are (as Marx had said) both "subjects" and "objects" of history. But Sartre insisted that history is only intelligible because it records a process brought into being by human action. This rules out an understanding of history based on a "dialectic of nature," adopted by some Marxists whom Sartre criticized as being dogmatists. Sartre thus rejected the idea that there could be any naturalistic science of humanity--a science that proceeds by discovering laws without reference to the consciousness of individuals. History is neither a mere process (without a subject) nor the product of some form of social, collective "subject." But this does not mean that individuals can be treated as wholly independent units that can be understood without taking into account the formative and conditioning role of their material and social situation. It is in this work that Sartre was still facing up to, and grappling with, the problem of the reconciliation of the demands of freedom and reason, but in an altogether more practical and concrete way than was done by his 17th-century predecessors. (see also  history, philosophy of)

Sartre's abandonment of the radical freedom of Being and Nothingness owed much to the French phenomenologist Maurice Merleau-Ponty's criticism of it--in Sens et non-sens (1948; Sense and Non-Sense)--as being still a dualist philosophy of consciousness and for failing to put man truly in the world. In Sense and Non-Sense he also expressed his view of the relation between existentialism and Marxism:

Marx gives us an objective definition of class in terms of the effective position of individuals in the production cycle, but he tells us elsewhere that class cannot become a decisive historical force and revolutionary factor unless individuals become aware of it, adding that this awareness itself has social motives, and so on. As a historical factor, class is therefore neither a simple objective fact, nor is it, on the other hand, a simple value arbitrarily chosen by solitary consciousnesses.

In Merleau-Ponty's writing there is also a clear statement of the human presupposition that forms the basis of philosophical anthropology in this third sense:

I am not the result or the intersection of multiple causalities that determine my body or my "psychism"; I cannot conceive of myself as nothing but a part of the world, as the simple object of biology, psychology, and sociology, nor close over myself the universe of science. Everything that I know of the world, even through science, I know from a viewpoint that is my own . . .

One effect of the insistence that it is concrete, lived experience that must form the starting point of philosophical anthropology is that not only must class and its experience enter into such accounts, but so too must sex and gender. Once the human subject, as a focus of philosophical attention, is no longer a mind whose relation to a body is at best obscure, is no longer a pure consciousness, but is essentially embodied and immersed in human culture, the biological differences between the sexes and the socially constituted role differentiation between male and female must play a part in the account of humanity.

In Simone de Beauvoir's Deuxième Sexe (1949; The Second Sex), she used the categories provided by Sartre to argue that to be a woman--as distinct from a man--is to be robbed of one's subjectivity, to be treated as an object by men, and to have one's conception of oneself as female defined by men. To assert her subjectivity a woman must thus negate her femininity, to reject the status of object for men that constitutes the feminine. A woman is thus placed in a condition of self-alienation, with which a man does not have to contend. In this way de Beauvoir revealed the need for a philosophy of "man" that is also a philosophy of "woman," a viewpoint that generally has been acknowledged only by female writers. (see also  sexism)

 

7.2.3 Philosophical anthropology and theology.

Just as class and gender determine the way in which one lives in the world and is related to the world, so too may religion. Even for those not brought up in any religion, Western culture is still one in which religion is significant. Philosophical anthropology must thus take the phenomenon of religious experience seriously, in a way that empiricist anthropology does not. But its starting point is with the constitution of a religious consciousness, and with the conditions of the possibility of the forms of religion encountered; it does not start with theology. There is room once again for dispute over the possibility of any kind of transcendence. The 19th-century Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard thought that man's existence has meaning only in the experience of grace, which inexplicably raises man up from his worthlessness. The anguish and loneliness of mortal existence, the "wretchedness of man without God," is only overcome by a form of experience that confers faith in the existence of God and hence the ultimate possibility of human transcendence.

Philosophical anthropology in its narrowest (third) sense is founded on an insistence that the only knowledge available to man is knowledge from his human perspective, conditioned, as he himself is, by his situation in the world. God cannot be invoked as a source of absolute standards of truth or of absolute values nor to give content to the supposition that there are any. If God exists, then the thought that there are such standards and values, even if we cannot know of them, remains possible. This possibility was denied with Nietzsche's proclamation of the death of God; the attempt to come to terms with this view defines the scope of most philosophical anthropology. The view of religion that reflects the inversion which takes place was expressed by Ludwig Feuerbach in Das Wesen des Christentums (1841; The Essence of Christianity), when he declared that "man is not a shadow of God; it is God who is the shadow of man, an illusory phantasm that man nourishes out of his own substance." (see also  religion, philosophy of)

 

7.3 Saussure, Freud, and antihumanism.

There were also those, however, who saw the death of God as heralding the death of man as the focus and starting point for philosophy. Saussure, in his Cours de linguistique général (1915; Course in General Linguistics), held, like Frege, that the meaning of a linguistic sign, that which gives it a value for the purposes of communication, could not be an idea in the mind of an individual. But unlike Frege he did not concentrate on the relation between language and an external world. Rather, he argued that the meaning of any one linguistic sign is dependent on its relation to other signs in the language to which it belongs; thus, the meaning of one sign is determined by its place in the overall structure that constitutes a language. A consequence of this view is that language becomes a closed, autonomous system. Linguistic signs do not depend for their meaning on anything external to language. Moreover, Saussure argued that the present meaning of a word could not be revealed by tracing its etymology. It is only by reference to present language structures that current meanings are determined. The language structures that become the focus of attention are thus to be treated as autonomous from their history (i.e., as if they had no history).

With this focus on structures and the method of studying them, Saussure can be considered to be one of the founding figures of structuralism. This view of meaning came to be extended from linguistic signs to all kinds of human actions to which a conventional meaning, or significance, is attributed. It has been used as the framework for anthropological investigations of cultures, their customs, etc., as, for example, in the work of Claude Lévi-Strauss or in the interpretation of dreams and the structures of the unconscious in the works of Jacques Lacan.

It is significant that, again, meaning is studied without reference to the consciousness of individual language speakers. Man is treated as essentially not just a language speaker but as a user and interpreter of signs, and the significance of these signs is determined without reference to any relation to the individual. A language, or sign-system, takes over the role of providing the framework of reason in which significance is given, but this framework transcends the individual. Such systems of codification regulate all human experience and activity and yet lie beyond the control of either individual or social groups. Indeed, since there is no meaning or understanding outside of a given sign-system, it is only from the meaning of the signs he "uses" that the individual comes to learn what it is that he means by his action, and hence what he thinks. This is why such views of language can readily be grafted onto Freud's theory of the unconscious.

Freud treated the realm of the mind as one that is as law-governed as is the natural world; nothing that a person does or says is haphazard or accidental, for everything can in principle be traced to causes that are somehow in the person's mind, although many of these are not accessible to consciousness. Freud's view of the human mind is thus very different from Descartes's. For Freud, the part of the mind that is accessible to consciousness is but the tip of a large iceberg; the hidden remainder, which influences the conscious, is the unconscious. Thus, for instance, there are unconscious desires that can cause someone to do things that he cannot explain rationally to others, or even to himself. In this there is a parallel between Freud and Marx, for both hold views on which human consciousness, far from being perfectly free and rational, is really determined by causes of which man is not aware; but whereas Marx says that these causes are social and economic in nature, Freud claims that they are individual and mental. In both cases the implications for the study of man are anti-psychologistic in that they turn attention away from the individual consciousness. On both views a scientific understanding of man is only to be gained by examining the factors that determine consciousness rather than the level of the individual subject of consciousness.

In his later expositions (those given in the 1920s) Freud assigned to the mind a tripartite structure: the id, which contains all the instinctual drives seeking immediate satisfaction; the ego, which deals with the world outside the person, mediating between it and the id; and the superego, a special part of the ego that contains the conscience, the social norms acquired in childhood. Whatever can become conscious is in the ego, although even in it there may be things that remain unconscious, whereas everything in the id is permanently unconscious. The instincts or drives contained in the id are the motivating forces in the mental apparatus, and all of the energy of the mind comes from them. Freud included a sexual instinct as one of the basic instincts and thus gave sexuality a much wider scope in psychology and in the study of man than had previously been the case. Freud's account of individual human character is also developmental. He held that particular "traumatic" experiences, although apparently forgotten, could continue to exercise a harmful influence on a person's mental health. The fully fledged theory of psychoanalysis generalizes from this and asserts the crucial importance, for the adult character, of the experiences of infancy and early childhood. Freud also held that the first five or so years of life are the time in which the basis of an individual's personality is laid down; one cannot fully understand a person, therefore, until he comes to know the psychologically crucial facts about that person's early childhood. Freud produced detailed theories of the stages of development that are concerned specifically with the development of sexuality, in which this concept is widened to include any kind of pleasure obtained from parts of the body. Freud's view was that individual well-being, or mental health, depends on a harmonious relationship between the various parts of the mind and between the person and the real world in which he must live. Neurosis results from the frustration of basic instincts, either because of external obstacles or because of internal mental imbalance. The work of the analyst is to interpret the behaviour and speech of a patient in such a way as to give insight into the unconscious, to be able to explain what is inexplicable at the conscious level, and in this way to try to give the patient an understanding of himself. Here there is a need for a theory of signs and of interpretation in which its notion of meaning, or significance, does not rest on either reference to the physical world or on ideas in an individual consciousness; structuralist theories provide one such possibility. (see also  personality)

From the point of view of either Freudian theory or of the non-existentialist reading of Marx, any attempt to provide a study of man--of human behaviour and history--that starts from the individual consciousness must seem misguided. This will include the empiricist approaches, which assume that all human behaviour is to be explained in terms of the conscious mental states (i.e., beliefs and desires) of individuals. Such approaches seem to fail to acknowledge that the causes of human actions include factors of which they are not consciously aware. A scientific account, one that is concerned with providing causal explanations, must not be confined to the subjectivity of the individual consciousness but must adopt an objective standpoint, a standpoint from which these factors can be recognized and studied. Equally as important, however, the sort of arguments used by phenomenologists and existentialists to query the availability of objective viewpoints can be reapplied here. Thus, structuralism gives place to the post-structuralism of Derrida and Deleuze, according to which neither a scientific nor a philosophical anthropology is possible. (see also  thought, knowledge, experience, human nature)

 

인류학 (人類學, anthropology)

인류와 그 문화의 기원·특질을 연구하는 학문.

보통 형질인류학과 문화인류학으로 분류된다. 다양한 민족들에 관한 자연 그대로의 설명과 해석이 인류학의 특징이지만 그 주제나 연구방법이 고유한 것은 아니다. 인류학은 일반적으로 알려져 있듯이 역사와는 다르다. 이는 인류학이 민족·제도·종교 또는 관습에 대한 역사적인 연구를 배제하기 때문이 아니라 문서자료를 통한 설명보다 인간, 인간의 활동, 인간의 생산물에 대해 가능한 한 직접 관찰을 한다는 점에서 그러하다. 또한 이런 모든 연구 결과를 인간에 관한 총체적인 기록의 일부로 볼 뿐 아니라, 인류의 생물학적·문화적인 발전과 관련된 복합적인 과정을 더 깊이 이해하는 데 기여하는 것으로 본다는 점에서 그러하다. 마찬가지로 인간의 신체·정신의 다양성과 집단적인 차이를 연구한다는 측면에서 인류학의 접근방법은 생리학 또는 심리학과도 다르다. 인류학자들은 인류의 전역사에서 시간과 공간의 측면에서 특정 집단과 활동이 갖는 고유한 특성을 연구하고 해석하려 한다. 현대 인류학은 대륙발견시대에 시작되었다. 이 시기에 기술적으로 발전해 있던 유럽 문화는 다양한 토착문화와 폭넓게 접촉하게 되었는데, 유럽인들은 이 문화들을 일괄적으로 '야만' 또는 '원시' 문화로 규정했다. 19세기 중반에 학문에 대한 종교적인 통제가 약화됨에 따라 인간의 기원, 인종 분류, 비교해부학, 언어와 같은 주제에 새로운 관심이 생기게 되었다. 1859년 찰스 다윈이 〈종의 기원 The Origin of Species〉 출판을 통해 공식적으로 진화 개념을 언급함에 따라 인류발전과 시간의 흐름에 따른 사회·문화 발전에 대한 연구가 크게 활성화되었다. 19세기 후반에 단선적인 역사개념이 인류학의 주류를 이루었는데, 이에 따르면 모든 인간집단은 문화적인 진화의 특정 단계들, 즉 '야만' 또는 '미개' 상태를 거쳐 '문명인'(예를 들면 서구 유럽인) 단계로 발전하게 된다. 같은 시기에 카를 마르크스와 그 영향을 받은 사상가들은 그와는 다른 사회진화론을 주장했다. 마르크스의 이론에 따르면 한 사회의 경제적인 생산양식이 일련의 지배원리를 결정한다. 이 지배원리는 생산양식이 변한 후에도 한동안 지체되는 것이 특징이며, 그결과 지배원리와 생산양식 사이에 갈등이 일어남으로써 새로운 사회질서가 생긴다. 이러한 통일된 이론들은 여행가·상인·선교사 들이 수집한 지식을 바탕으로 씌어진 제임스 프레이저 경의 〈황금 가지 The Golden Bough〉(1890) 같은 대중적인 저서와 달리 몇 년 안 되어 학문적으로 상당한 발전을 이루었다.

20세기가 시작되면서 서구 유럽과 북아메리카 초기 인류학자들이 갖고 있던 강한 문화적인 편견이 점점 사라지고, 사회와 문화의 폭넓은 다양성에 대한 다원론적이고 상대주의적인 견해가 우세하게 되었다. 문화적 상대주의에 바탕을 둔 이 입장은 모든 문화를 물리적인 환경, 문화적인 접촉, 그밖의 다른 여러 가지 요소들의 독특한 산물로 파악했다. 이러한 견해에 뒤이어 경험적인 자료, 현지조사, 일정한 문화적·자연적 환경 안에서 일어나는 인간의 행동에 관한 구체적인 증거를 강조하는 경향이 생겼다. 이러한 접근방법을 행한 가장 주요한 본보기가 된 사람은 문화사학파의 시조로 알려진 독일 태생 미국의 인류학자 프란츠 보아스였다. 보아스와 루스 베니딕트, 마거릿 미드, 에드워드 서피어 등 그의 제자들은 20세기 전반을 통해 미국 인류학의 주류를 형성했다. 문화사학파는 문화적인 자료에 기능주의적인 방법으로 접근하여 한 문화에 속한 여러 다양한 양식·특징·관습을 조화시켜 표현하려 했다. 한편 프랑스의 경우 파리대학교의 민족학연구소 설립자인 마르셀 모스는 인간사회를 자기조절 할 뿐 아니라, 문화통합체계를 보존하기 위해 여러 가지 방법으로 변화하는 환경에 적응하는 총체적인 체계로 보는 입장에서 연구를 진행시켰다.

모스는 프랑스의 클로드 레비 스트로스, 영국의 브로니슬라프 말리노프스키와 A.R.래드클리프 브라운과 같이 이질적인 접근방법을 꾀한 이들에게 상당한 영향을 미쳤다. 말리노프스키는 계속 엄격한 기능주의적인 접근방법을 추구했으며, 래드클리프 브라운과 레비 스트로스는 구조주의 원리를 발전시켰다. 두 학파는 사회사를 사회이론의 토대로 보지 않는 점을 제외하고는 별개의 방향으로 발전했다. 기능주의자들의 주장에 따르면 사회현상을 분석하는 단 하나의 타당한 방법은 그 현상이 사회에서 수행하는 기능을 규정하는 것이었다. 반면 구조주의자들은 사회구성원들이 신화와 상징을 통해서만 인식하는 폭넓은 현상의 구조적 성격 및 대상을 알아내려 했다.

1930년대에 루스 베니딕트가 행한 미국 남서부 인디언에 관한 연구를 통해 문화심리학이라는 문화인류학의 소(小)분야가 생겨났다. 베니딕트의 주장에 따르면 문화는 천천히 발전하면서 구성원들에게 독특한 '심리적인 성향'을 갖게 하는데, 구성원들은 환경적인 요소에 상관없이 문화를 통해 정해진 방향을 따라 현실을 해석하게 된다는 것이다. 이른바 전통사회는 물론, 현대사회의 문화적인 '통합' 또는 가치체계에서 그 예를 볼 수 있는 것처럼 문화와 인성(人性)의 상호관계는 폭넓은 연구주제로서 자리잡게 되었다.

문화인류학이 독자적으로 하나의 성숙한 사회과학 분과로 발전하는 동안 형질인류학은 자연현상에서 차지하는 인간의 위치를 규정하고, 인간과 다른 영장류 사이의 차이를 알아내고, 다양한 인종의 신체적인 차이를 분류하는 일에 계속 관심을 두었다. 19세기 후반 다윈의 진화론이 일반적으로 널리 받아들여진 가운데, 형질인류학자들은 고대인류를 추적하는 데 고고학자들과 고생물학자들의 발굴 성과를 이용하기 시작했다.

20세기가 시작되면서 확실한 증거를 바탕으로 인종이 분류되었으며, 고등 영장류 사이의 차이점에 관한 개괄이 이루어졌다. 1900년 그레고어 멘델의 일반유전법칙이 재발견되고, ABO식 혈액형 분류군이 처음 발견되면서 종(種)의 진화론적인 변화 개념은 새로운 의미를 갖게 되었다. 20세기 후반 형질인류학자들은 두개골 화석에서 나타난 증거를 바탕으로 약 50만 년 동안의 인류진화과정을 도표로 만들 수 있게 되었다.

현대인류학의 관심과 기법은 물리학·생물학·행동과학·사회과학 등 폭넓은 전문분야에 걸쳐 있다. 예를 들면 원자물리학 덕분에 고고학적인 발굴물의 상대적인 연대를 측정하기 위한, 방사성 탄소를 이용한 연대측정법과 같은 기술이 발전했다. 여러 민족의 지리적인 기원을 알아내기 위한 연구에는 인간의 유전을 연구하는 생물학자들이 개발한 방법이 이용되고 있다. 유럽 집시들이 원래 인도 태생이었다는 추측을 입증할 수 있었던 것은 유전학 기술을 응용해 혈액형을 조사함으로써 밝혀진 사실이다. 여러 민족들의 가족관계, 근친상간 금기와 같은 종교적·법적인 관습을 이해하는 데에는 정신분석이론에 주로 바탕을 둔 심리학의 원칙이 채택되고 있다.

  • 참고문헌 (인류학)
    • 문화인류학개론 : 이광규, 일조각, 1991
    • 인류의 선사시대 : 브라이언 메이건, 최몽룡 역, 을유문화사, 1988
    • 사회인류학 : J. 비티, 최재석 역, 일지사, 1987
    • 문화인류학 개론 : 한상복·이문웅·김광억 공저, 서울대학교 출판부, 1985
    • 구조인류학 : C. 레비스트로스, 김진욱 역, 종로서적, 1983
    • 미개사회의 성과 억압 외(세계사상전집 37) : B. 말리노프스키, 한완상 역, 삼성출판사, 1982
    • 레비스트로스의 인류학 - 사회학과 신화학 : 한국정신문화연구원 사회연구실 편, 한국정신문화연구원, 1981
    • 황금가지 Ⅰ·Ⅱ(삼성문화문고 48·49) : J. 프레이저, 장병길 역, 삼성출판사, 1977

 

종교인류학 (宗敎人類學, anthropology of religion)

종교현상을 인류학적 관점에서 연구하는 학문.

연구의 주요대상은 원시종교인데, 원시종교에는 역사적 시원(始原) 및 태고(太古) 때 종교(원시종교)와 현존하는 미개민족의 종교(미개종교)가 있다. 전자의 종교는 현재 유적·유물로 그 외형이 남아 있지만, 정신문화는 수반하고 있지 않기 때문에 종교고고학에서 다룬다. 그러나 문명사회에서도 그리스도교나 불교 등의 고등종교 기층(基層)에는 민간신앙이 가로놓여 있는데, 거기에는 원시종교에서 비롯된 것으로 보이는 흔적이 많이 남아 있다. 물론 종교인류학은 넓은 의미에서 종교고고학·종교민속학을 포함하지만, 현실적으로는 현존하는 미개종교를 주요대상으로 한다.

영국에서는 인류학과 민속학을 거의 동일한 것으로 간주하는 경향이 있어 종교인류학은 종교민속학과 동일시된다. 지리상의 발견 이후 세계 각지의 식민지에서 드러난 방대한 원시문화와 미개민족에 관한 보고·자료의 체계화가 시도되었다. 그리고 유럽의 옛 역사와 비교하여 기록되지 않은 인류문화의 발전된 흔적을 재구성하는 실증적인 연구를 하여 19세기부터 20세기초까지 학문적인 결실을 맺었다. 영국에서는 E. B. 타일러, J. G. 프레이저 등이 진화론의 입장에서 인류문화의 재구성을 시도했으며, 그 흐름 속에서 종교의 본질·기원·진화를 논했다. 한편 독일과 오스트리아에서는 F. 그레브너, W. 슈미트 등 문화사학파가 역사적인 입장에서 문화전달 문제를 다루어, 여러 문화권과의 관련 속에서 종교의 발전단계를 설명했다. 이 2가지 학문의 흐름을 인류학 및 민속학이라고 하는데, 종교민속학은 종교의 역사적 측면에 초점을 맞춘 연구로서 전개되고 있다. 한편 1920년대에 영국의 브로니수아프 K. 말리노프스키, 래드클리프 브라운은 기능주의적 입장에서 현지조사를 근거로 인류문화의 보편적 원리를 탐구하는 사회인류학을 수립했다.

좁은 의미에서 종교인류학은 사회인류학적 입장에서 이루어지는 종교연구를 말한다. 이런 의미에서 종교민속학은 역사적 방법에 따라 문자 이전에 나타난 종교의 문화적 연구를 통해 종교사의 재구성을 목표로 하며, 문헌적 결함을 보충하는 학문이다. 이에 비해 종교인류학은 법칙정립적(法則定立的)이며, 집약적 비교연구를 통해 문화와 사회를 전체적으로 연결하면서 종교의 기능·구조·의미 규명에 중점을 둔다. 양자는 연구의 대상이 같지만 종교민속학에서는 원시·미개 종교와 문명종교와의 구분을 문자의 유무와 관련지으며, 종교인류학에서는 문화·사회의 구조상의 단순-복잡성을 가지고 구분하며, 현대종교의 여러 문제도 다룬다. 종교인류학 및 종교민속학은 종교학·인류학·민속학이 교차하는 곳에서 성립되므로 양자간에 기여하는 학문적 위치에 있다.→ 종교학

 

철학적 인간학 (哲學的人間學, philosophical anthropology)

인간의 본성, 인간과 세계의 관계 등을 연구하는 학문.

자연과학적·역사학적·사회학적 측면에서 이루어지는 인간연구를 포함하기도 한다. '철학적 인간학'이라는 말을 최초로 사용한 셸러(1874~ 1928)는 "철학적 인간학은 인간에 관해서 모든 과학들이 얻어낸 풍성한 개별지식을 근거로 하여, 인간의 자기의식과 자기성찰에 관한 새로운 형식을 전개하려는 것"이라고 했고, 란트만(1913~)은 "철학적 인간학은 전인간에 관해서, 인간의 본질에 관해서, 근본적으로 구별되는 특성에 관해서 묻는다"라고 말했다.

인간연구의 문제점과 그 유형

우리가 인간에 관한 연구를 할 때, 우리는 이미 인간에 관해서 어떤 이해를 가지고 있다. 이것을 해석학에서는 전이해(前理解)라고 말한다. 예컨대 어떤 생물학자가 인간을 해명하는 데 중요한 의미를 갖는 어떤 지식을 가졌다고 했을 때, 그 생물학자의 지식이 중요한 의미를 가지고 있다는 것을 알기 위해서도 그 생물학자는 먼저 인간을 알고 있지 않으면 안 된다. 가령 어떤 진화론자가 인간의 두개골을 연구하는 데 있어서 중요한 의미를 가질 것이라고 생각한 화석(化石)뼈를 발견했을 경우, 그 화석뼈 자체는 인간이 무엇인가에 대해서 아무런 말도 해주지 못한다. 그 진화론자는 화석뼈가 인간을 해명하는 데 있어서 중요한 의미를 가지고 있다는 것을 미리 알고 있어야 하고, 또 인간에 대해서 미리 알고 있어야만 한다.

진화론자는 처음부터 창조설을 거부하고 인간은 다른 동물로부터 진화했고, 다른 동물은 유기체로부터, 또 유기체는 무기체로부터 진화했을 것이라는 가정을 가지고 생각하기 시작한다. 그러므로 인간에 관한 연구를 할 때, 사람들은 이미 인간에 관해서 어떤 생각을 가지고 출발한다. 인간은 하느님에 의해서 창조되었을 것이라든가, 아니면 다른 동물과 마찬가지로 물질로만 구성된 동물에 불과하다는 '전이해'를 사람들은 가지고 있다. 이 인간에 대한 '전이해'는 인간에 대한 연구를 하는 사람의 인생관·세계관과 밀접한 관계를 가지고 있다. 그러므로 인간에 관한 연구를 할 때, 연구자 자신의 인간에 대한 자기 이해가 항상 전제되고 있음을 아무도 부인할 수 없다. 우리는 이러한 인간에 대한 '전이해'를 무시할 수 없다. 그러나 이 '전이해'는 더 풍부하고 완전한 이해를 위하여 항상 열려져 있어야 한다. 셸러는 "인간은 동물처럼 종(種)의 성질을 가지고 확고부동하게 고정되어 있는 존재가 아니라, 자기를 형성하면서 점차적으로 커지고 있는 세계와의 관계에서 존재하는 개방된 존재이다"라고 말했다. 인간은 본래 확정된 성격이나 정신적인 특징을 가지고 있지 않다. 인간의 삶은 미리 정해진 궤도에 따라 달리는 기차와 같은 것이 아니다. 인간은 본래부터 미완성인 채로 세상에 태어났다. 하느님이나 자연은 인간으로 하여금 자기자신을 완성하도록 위임했다. 그러므로 인간은 자기자신을 완성하는 과제를 이미 본래부터 가지고 있는 존재이다. 그러나 인간의 자기 완성은 그가 스스로 자기자신에 관해서 만든 어떤 관념에 따라서 이루어지는 것은 아니다. 인간은 자기 행동의 동기를 안다고 생각하는 경우에도, 실제로는 전혀 엉뚱한 다른 충동을 받고 행동하기도 한다. 그러므로 인간은 단순한 존재가 아니다. 우리가 인간에 관한 연구를 할 때, 절대적으로 타당성을 인정받은 출발점이란 없다. 인간의 본질적 특성을 말할 때, 학자들은 그러한 특성이 인간을 이해하는 데 있어서 얼마나 중요한 의의를 가지고 있는가를 설명한다. 그러나 우연히 착안한 어떤 현상으로부터 인간의 전부를 밝힐 수 있다고 추론하는 것은 자의적이고 매우 위험한 생각이다. 인간 존재는 본질적으로 다원적이다.

인간이 무엇이냐는 물음은 매우 다양하게 다원적으로 물을 수밖에 없기 때문에, 이 물음에 대답을 이끌어 낼 확고한 출발점이 없다. 이 물음은 여러 가지 관계 속에서 제기되며, 또 이 물음은 제기되는 여러 가지 경우를 가지고 있다. 첫째, 인간은 동물이므로 다른 동물과 비교해봄으로써 인간의 특성을 살피려고 한다. 여기서 인간은 빈약한 본능을 가졌으며 비전문화(非專門化)되어 있지만, 자기의 생존을 위해 자기의식과 자기반성이 발달할 수밖에 없다든가, 인간도 환경의 지배를 받기는 해도 다른 동물과 달리 이성(理性)의 도움으로 환경을 변화시키고 창조할 수 있는 능력을 가지고 있으며, 또 우수한 학습 능력을 가지고 있다는 것이 밝혀졌다. 철학적 인간학을 연구하는 대부분의 학자들이 여기에 깊은 관심을 가지고 있다. 둘째, 인간을 인간 그 자체로써 연구하는 것이다. 이것은 인간을 밖으로부터 고찰해보는 것과 안으로부터 성찰해보는 것으로 나누어 볼 수 있다. 인간을 밖으로부터 고찰하는 경우에 인간은 문화적·사회적·역사적 존재임을 통찰할 수 있다. 인간은 문화·사회·역사의 창조자이면서, 또한 문화·사회·역사(전통)에 의해 이루어지는 피조자(被造者)이기도 하다. 미완성 상태로 세상에 태어난 인간이 어떻게 자기 완성을 하며, 문화창조자로서의 인간에게 자유와 개성이 인간이해에 얼마나 중요한 의미를 가지고 있는가를 알게 된다. 또 문화의 피조자라는 면에서 인간을 볼 때, 인간의 사회성·역사성이 인간이해에 중요한 의미가 있음을 알 수 있다. 인간을 안으로 성찰할 때 이른바 정신적 존재 또는 이성적 존재로서의 인간을 이해할 수 있다. 여기서 인간의 정신과 이성의 이해의 변천과정을 역사적으로 개관해 보며, 정신·이성·오성·의지·감정·영혼·육체의 의미 등을 살펴보게 된다. 셋째, 인간과 신과의 관계를 통찰하는 것이다. 여기서 이른바 신학적 인간학 및 종교적 인간학이 발생하고, 그리스도교적 인간학, 불교적 인간학, 이슬람교적 인간학, 유교적 인간학이라는 말이 생겨났다. 영혼불멸·영생·은총·구원·죽음·고통·희망·사랑의 의미가 인간이해에서 중요한 의미를 가지고 있음을 우리는 이해할 수 있다. 인간은 위기에 처해 있을 때나 누구를 사랑할 때, 대체로 절대자 또는 초자연적 존재에게 기원을 하게 된다. 그래서 우리는 인간을 종교적 존재라고 말할 수 있다. 종교가 인간을 이해하는 데 있어서 중요한 실마리를 던져주고 있음을 아무도 부인할 수 없는 것이다.

그밖에도 인간이 무엇이냐는 물음은 특정한 학문에 주안점을 두고 비판적인 시각에서 제기할 수 있다. 예컨대 교육학적 인간학, 의학적 인간학, 정치학적 인간학, 법학적 인간학이라고 하는 철학적인 영역들이 있다. 여기서는 인간소외의 해소와 인간의 존엄성을 마르크스주의적 관점에서 해명해보려고 했다.

인간이해의 방법

철학적 인간은 그의 대상인 인간과 이중으로 연결되어 있다. 첫째, 인간에 관해서 직접 탐구하는 것은 인간에 관한 특수과학들인데, 이 특수과학들의 성과들이 다시 간접적으로 철학에 의해서 받아들여지고 인간의 포괄적인 전체 이해를 다룬다. 예컨대 셸러는 쾰러의 동물학적인 유인원 연구로부터 그의 정신개념의 새로운 정초를 입었으며, 겔렌은 먼저 동물계에서의 인간의 특수위치를 순수하게 해부학적으로 해석한 것을 받아들여서 인간을 결핍존재(Mängelwesen)라는 그의 명제를 증명하는 데 이용했고, 인간과 문화의 관계를 설명했다. 이러한 관찰에 있어서는 언제나 하나의 특수과학의 성과가 그 과학의 특정한 영역을 넘어서 인간의 전체적인 이해와 연결된다. 이런 경우 철학은 인간의 이해에 접근하는 간접적인 통로를, 즉 특수과학들이 그에게 제공해주는 연구성과들을 통해서 가는 통로를 가지고 있다. 여기에는 2가지 서로 분리된 연구과정의 길이 있는데, 하나의 과정이 다른 과정 위에 연결된다. 그런데 인간에 관한 특수과학들 자체가 철학적이며 철학적 인간학적인 관찰방법에 이르기까지 심화되어가게 되면, 서로 분리되어 있는 두 연구과정들의 경계선은 흐려지기 시작한다. 둘째, 철학적 인간학의 관찰들은 특수과학들의 중개를 거치지 않고 직접 그 대상인 인간을 다룬다. 인간존재의 경험 속에 나타나는 삶의 경험에 있어서 하나의 직접적인 통로를 발견하고 여기에 철학적 인간학의 관찰 근거를 찾는다. 우리가 관찰하고 체험하는 삶의 현상들이 바로 이와 같은 영역에 속한다. 우리는 모두 불안이 무엇이며, 환희가 무엇이며, 신뢰가 무엇인가를 스스로 알고 있다고 생각하고, 따라서 철학적 인간학의 연구에 있어서도 바로 이러한 직접적인 삶의 체험에서부터 출발할 수 있다. 클라우스 길은 이와 관련하여 "인간적인 현상들을 아무런 전제 없이 있는 그대로 관찰한다는 것은 모든 인간적인 것이 어떤 의미에 있어서는 이미 이해되고 있으며, 또한 어떤 이론을 통하지 않고도 이해될 수 있어야 한다는 것을 전제로 하고서만 가능한 일이다. 철학적 인간학은 이러한 직접적인 삶의 이해를 간과할 수 없으며, 직접적인 삶의 이해는 철학적 인간학의 기반이 된다"라고 말했다.

그러나 특수과학들의 입장에 서서 이러한 직접적인 삶의 체험의 성과들을 과소평가하는 사람들이 있다. 그들은 그러한 직접적인 삶의 체험을 단지 '시적인 명증(明證)'을 가졌을 뿐이고, 과학의 연구결과들만 확실한 기초를 가지고 있다고 주장한다. 그러나 이러한 주장은 실제에 있어서 정당하지 못하다. 그러한 주장에 대해서 다음과 같은 사실을 지적할 수 있다. 모든 과학의 연구는 이미 과학 이전에 삶의 체험 속에 주어져 있는 개념들을 전제로 하고 있으며, 또 의식적이든 무의식적이든 간에 그러한 개념들에 의해서 이루어진 이해의 범위 안에서 작업하고 있다는 사실이다. 그리고 철학적 인간학도 인간의 고유한 삶의 체험 속에서 그의 대상인 인간에 대한 이해의 직접적인 길을 가지고 있다고 해도, 그것은 결코 가공적인 사변을 하는 것으로 의미하는 것이 아니라 정확하게 경험적으로 연구하는 것을 기도하고 있다는 사실이다. 특히 여기서 중요시하는 것은 개별과학들의 방법으로는 파악할 수 없는 삶의 체험의 특수한 성격을 밝혀내는 것이다. 경험적으로 연구한다는 것도 우리의 삶의 현실 속에 주어진 사실을 연구하는 것이다. 여기서 경험형성이 '전이해'와 밀접하게 관련되고 있음을 자세히 논하지는 않겠으나, 이해의 순환성이 삶의 경험의 발전에 이바지함을 지적하고자 한다.

이해하는 방법을 현상학적인 방법이라고 부를 수도 있다. 왜냐하면 현상학은 직접 삶의 경험에 기초한 방법의 엄밀한 표현일 수 있기 때문이다. 그러나 플레스너가 현상학의 방법을 중요시하고, 후설과 셸러를 극찬하면서도 이를 절대화하는 것에 대해서는 반대하고 있는 점에 주목할 필요가 있다. 현상학적인 방법이 철학적 인간학에 적용될 때는 하나의 독자적인 성격을 가진다. 현상학이 무엇을 의미하는가 하는 것은 그것이 철학적 인간학에 미리 결정적인 하나의 방법으로 주어져 있는 것처럼 생각해서는 안 되며, 오히려 철학적 인간학이 비로소 그 자신의 본질에 의해서 자신의 과제를 다루는 데 알맞도록 발전시켜가야 할 성질의 것으로 보아야 할 것 같다. 현상학이라는 말을 아주 넓은 의미로 보아야 한다. 그것은 모든 무리한 단순화와 체계화를 거부하고 비교·구별하는 연구자세로 현상들 그 자체를 바라보려고 하는 방법이다. 이러한 경향을 F. 뵈이텐디에크, 메를로 퐁티, 리프스 등에서 볼 수 있는데, 그들은 현상학적 관찰방법을 비교적 자유롭게 구사한 사람들 가운데 대표자라 할 수 있다.

이와는 다른 면에서 고찰해보면 철학은 오로지 직접적인 삶의 체험에만 의존할 수 없으며, 또한 모든 과학적인 연구의 확실한 기초라고 단정할 수만은 없다. 철학이 직접적인 삶의 경험에만 의존한다면 그 출발점의 우연성을 면할 길이 없다. 그러므로 철학은 특수과학들의 도움을 필요로 한다. 내용적인 확대와 보완을 위해서 뿐만 아니라 그 기초적인 출발점의 확인과 교정을 위해서도 특수과학들의 도움이 필요하다. 직접적인 삶의 체험에 의존하는 방법과 간접적으로 특수과학들의 성과들에 의존하는 방법 사이에는 일방적인 선후관계가 성립되는 것은 아니다. 철학적인 관찰은 언제나 특수과학들이 이미 이루어놓은 성과들을 받아들여서 새롭게 정리하는 것이라고만 말할 수도 없으며, 또한 철학이 항상 미리 특수과학에 대해서 방향을 제시하는 것이라고만 말할 수도 없다. 단지 상호의존관계가 이루어져야 한다고 말할 수밖에 없다. 철학적 인간학은 아 프리오리(a priori)한 면과 아포스테리오리(a posteriori)한 면의 융합을 꾀하며, 삶을 파악하고 다시 그것을 자유롭게 해주면서 개방성 속에서 이루어진다고 하겠다.

인간과 짐승의 차이

인간이 동물임을 아무도 부인하지 못한다. 그러나 사람들은 인간은 동물이기는 하지만 짐승이 아니라고 주장한다. 그러면 인간과 짐승의 근본적인 차이는 있는가? 첫째, 인간과 다른 동물(짐승)이 결정적으로 구별되는 점은 짐승이 그의 육체 기관(器官)의 기능에 있어서 인간보다 더욱 전문화되어 있다는 것이다. 다른 동물의 모든 육체적인 기관은 그의 자연적인 생활조건과 특수한 환경에 알맞게 되어 있다는 것이다. 겔렌은 신생아의 생물학적인 초기 양상을 연구하고 "인간은 다른 동물에 비하면 미완성된 상태로 출생한다"라고 했다. 다른 동물들은 그들이 살아가야 할 자연환경에 꼭 알맞도록 기관의 기능이 특수하게 완성된 상태로 출생한다. 그들은 환경에 대한 반응으로 행동할 때 기계적이며 자동적이다. 동물의 이빨은 육식이나 초식에 알맞게 되어 있으나 인간의 치아는 육식에도 초식에도 꼭 알맞도록 되어 있는 것이 아니다. 따라서 인간은 무엇을 먹고 살아야 한다는 것이 본능적으로 결정되어 있는 것이 아니라, 농사를 지어 곡식을 먹고 살 수도 있고, 목축이나 사냥을 해서 짐승의 고기를 먹고 살 수도 있다. 그러므로 인간이 무엇을 먹을 것인가 하는 문제는 그때그때의 경우에 따라서 결정할 문제이지 다른 동물처럼 자연적인 본능이나 육체적인 기관에 의해서 미리 결정되어 있는 것이 아니다. 또 인간의 수태시기도 다른 동물처럼 시기적으로 결정되어 있지 않고 언제나 성교 할 수 있게 되어 있다. 이처럼 인간의 기관들이 특수한 생활조건과 특정한 환경에 꼭 맞도록 되어 있지 않다는 것은 생존경쟁을 하는 데 있어서 불리한 조건이라고 생각할 수도 있고, 반면에 유리한 조건이라고도 할 수 있다. 인간의 치아는 맹수에 비해 육식을 하는 데 있어서 매우 불리하고 초식을 하는 데 있어서도 초식동물에 비하면 매우 불리하다. 그러나 인간은 요리를 만들어 많은 종류의 음식을 먹을 수 있는 자유를 가지고 있다. 겔렌은 인간은 생물학적으로 결핍된 존재라고 하면서 인간은 동시에 그의 결핍의 보상으로 자기반성과 자기의식을 할 수 있는 정신이 주어졌다고 한다. 인간은 처음부터 생각하는 능력이 주어졌다. 인간이 비전문화되어 있다는 것은 자유로운 정신활동을 할 수 있다는 것을 의미한다.

둘째, 인간의 성장 리듬이다. 인간은 다른 포유동물에 비하면 더 오랜 임신기간을 필요로 할 것 같은데, 1년쯤 더 빨리 출생한다고 한다. 포르트만은 이 현상을 자궁외조기출산이라고 했다. 인간은 다른 동물보다 더 오랜 성장기간을 갖는다. 인간은 성인이 되는데 거의 20년이 걸린다. 그러나 고래는 2년 만에 20m에 이르는 거의 완전한 성숙에 도달한다. 다른 동물은 모태(母胎) 안에서 그의 육체적인 기관들이 성숙한 다음에 출생하기 때문에 오랜 성장기간을 필요로 하지 않는다. 인간은 출생 후 20년 동안 계속 일정하게 성장하는 것이 아니라, 성장 리듬이 다른 동물에 비해 매우 특이하다. 인간은 육체적인 성장이 끝난 후에도 다른 동물보다 더 오랫동안 생명을 유지한다. 다른 포유동물의 수명은 짧은 것은 2~3년, 보통은 12~15년이고, 드물게 30년까지 생명을 유지하는 것도 있다. 다른 동물은 성장기간이 끝나면 기관들이 바로 쇠퇴한다. 그러나 인간은 계속해서 배우고 생각하면서 삶의 경험을 쌓고 그의 경험의 축적을 다음 세대에게 전달해준다. 인간의 조기출생과 유년기가 긴 것은 본래부터 학습하도록 되어 있는 학습존재임을 의미한다고 말할 수 있다. 인간은 직립보행 같은 기본자세조차도 선천적으로 타고난 소질에 의한 것이 아니라, 어른들이 아이에게 보여주고 가르쳐주는 표본과 모범의 영향에 의한 것이다. 그래서 인간은 태어나서부터 죽을 때까지 배우고 생각하도록 되어 있다.

셋째, 인간에게는 환경이 열려 있다는 것이다. 다시 말해서 인간은 '세계가 개방되어 있는 존재'(Weltoffenes Wesen)이다. 다른 동물은 주어진 일정한 환경에서는 인간보다 더 잘 적응하지만, 일단 환경이 크게 바뀌면 능동적으로 환경을 삶에 맞도록 변화시킬 수 없다. 그러나 인간은 환경과 세계의 지배를 받기도 하지만, 또한 환경과 세계를 자기 삶에 알맞도록 변조시킬 수가 있다. 인간은 환경에 고정되거나 매어 있지 않다. 그러나 다른 동물들은 환경을 고정시킨 채로 유일하게 가지고 있다. 인간은 하나의 환경을 가지고 있는 것이 아니라, 인간집단마다 그때그때마다 인간에게 적합한 또다른 환경을 가질 수 있다. 인간은 관심을 갖기에 따라서 다른 생물의 환경 속으로 감정이입을 할 수 있다. 환경에 얽매어 있는 것과 세계가 열려 있다는 것은 인간 내부에서 서로 교차하고 있다. 그래서 만일 인간이 다른 동물처럼 유전적으로 확정되어져 있는 환경 속에서만 산다면, 인간의 역사는 존재하지 않았을 것이라고 로타커는 말한 바 있다.

인간은 본래부터 윤리적인 존재이다. 돼지는 과식을 하지 않는다. 그가 필요한 만큼 먹고 그 이상 더 먹지 않는다. 그러나 인간은 과음·과식을 하고 소화불량에 잘 걸린다. 인간은 다른 동물들처럼 자동조절이 되어 있지 않다. 그러므로 그때그때마다 자기반성을 통해서 자기제어를 해야 한다. 니체는 인간은 자기를 극복해야 할 존재라고 말한 바 있다. 동물들은 영양상태와 발육이 좋은 때를 골라서 발정기와 생식기간이 정해진다. 그리고 주위 환경이 종족번식에 적합한 때에 수태를 한다. 천재지변이 있을 때나 동물의 건강상태가 나쁠 때 동물은 교미를 하지 않는다. 그러나 인간은 정신적으로 불안하거나 고도의 정신생활을 하기 어려울 때, 병이 들었거나 주위 여건이 나쁠 때, 또 전쟁중이거나 천재지변이 있을 때일수록 성욕이 항진하는 경향이 있다. 다른 동물은 수태중일 때는 성교를 하지 않으나, 인간은 언제나 성교를 할 수 있을 정도로 엄청난 자유가 주어져 있다. 그런가 하면 인간은 자기의 뜻에 맞지 않으면 굶어죽을 수도 있고 자살할 수도 있다. 그러나 동물은 그러하지 못하다. 그러므로 인간은 의식적으로 자기반성을 통하여 어떤 행동을 할 때마다 윤리적인 결단을 해야 한다. 그런 음식은 먹어서는 안된다고 윤리적인 판단이 내려지면 인간은 그런 음식을 먹지 않을 수도 있다. 건강에 해로울 때처럼 필요하면 인간은 금욕생활을 하도록 되어 있다. 사실 인간을 정신적 존재라고 할 때, 정신이라는 말은 자기억제와 금욕에서부터 나오는 것이다. 인간의 정신생활이란 윤리적 행위와 불가분의 관계에 놓여 있다.

인간적인 것 또는 사람다움의 패러다임

① 생물학적으로 비전문화되어 있다. ② 물음을 묻는 존재(지성 또는 이성)이다. ③ 문화의 창조자·피조자이다. ④ 자유의지를 가진 윤리적 존재이다. ⑤ 고유한 내면적 세계를 가지고 있다. ⑥ 이해를 초월하는 탈중심성을 가지며, 불편·부당한 가치판단을 할 수 있다. ⑦ 유토피아 의식을 가지며 미래지향적이다. ⑧ 사회적 존재이다. ⑨학습존재이다. ⑩ 상징적인 존재이다. ⑪ 종교적인 존재(기도·희망·사랑)이다. ⑫ 수치를 아는 존재이다. 이 패러다임들은 서로 배타적·이질적인 것이 아니라, 서로 상관·중복되어 있다.

  • 참고문헌 (철학적인간학)
    • 인간이란 무엇인가 : 장회익 외, 민음사, 1991
    • 인간의 철학적 이해(새책 8) : P. N. 페도셰예프 외, 한국철학사상연구회 인간론분과 역, 새날, 1990
    • 인간에 관한 종합적 이해 : 배영기, 세화, 1990
    • 철학적 인간학 : 서배식, 청주대학교 출판부, 1990
    • 인간-신학적 인간학 입문 : 심상태, 서광사, 1989
    • 철학적 인식의 대상으로서의 인간 : 뮈슬리프첸코, 논장, 1989
    • 인간이란 무엇인가 : E. 카시러, 최명관 역, 서광사, 1987
    • 철학적 인간학(현대철학 시리즈 10) : E. 코레트, 진교훈 역, 종로서적, 1986
    • 몸·영혼·정신 - 철학적 인간학 입문 : C. A. 반퍼슨, 손봉호·강영안 공역, 서광사, 1985
    • 철학적 인간학 연구 1 : 진교훈, 경문사, 1985
    • 철학적 인간관 : 종교연구실 편, 한국정신문화연구원, 1985
    • 달라진 세계와 철학-철학적 인간학의 과제(정신화와 육체화의 동향 3) : W. 슐츠, 송기들 역, 현대사상사, 1984
    • 철학적 인간학 : M. 란트만, 진교훈 역, 경문사, 1984
    • 사상과 인간의 문제 : 최명관, 문음사, 1982

 

문화와 인성 연구 (文化 ―― 人性硏究, culture-and-personality studies)

psychological anthropology라고도 함.

개인과 문화 사이의 상호작용의 성격을 규명하는 인류학의 한 분야.

같은 문화에 속한 개인들의 각기 다른 행동양식을 분석하려는 노력을 통해 인류학 분야에 심리학의 방법을 적용한다. 심층 면담, 역할 연기, 로르샤흐 테스트, 세밀한 전기(傳記)와 가족의 역할에 대한 연구, 꿈에 대한 다양한 해석 등 여러 방법이 이용된다.

인류학자들은 문화와 인성 연구에 의해 지금까지는 그저 형식적으로만 취급되었던 문화특성의 상징적 의미와 정서적 중요성에 주목하게 되었다. 동시에 심리학자들은 인지(認知), 동기유발, 학습의 모든 과정에 언제나 내재하는 문화요소의 존재를 깨닫게 되었다.

 

사회인류학 (社會人類學, social anthropology)

인류학의 한 분야.

인간사회의 일반을 밝히기 위해 미개인의 사회생활을 주로 연구한다. 사회인류학을 정의할 때의 1차적인 문제는 문화인류학과의 관계이다. 사회인류학을 바라보는 관점에는 2가지가 있다. 즉 사회인류학을 고고학·언어학을 포함한 광의의 문화인류학의 한 부분으로 보는 것과, 문화와 그 다양한 표상을 연구대상으로 하는 문화인류학에 대하여 사회관계와 사회구조를 주로 다루는 별도의 분야로 보는 것이다. 전자는 주로 미국 인류학의 견해이고 후자는 영국 인류학의 견해이나, 학설사(學說史)상으로는 문화인류학과 사회인류학을 연구대상·방법론에서 명확히 구별할 수 없다.

역사

사회인류학은 한때는 대체로 영국의 인류학자들의 연구를 가리켰다. 1920년대부터 B. 말리노프스키와 A.R. 래드클리프 브라운을 중심으로 구조기능주의의 연구활동이 활발히 진행되고 E.에번스 프리처드, M.글럭먼, M.포티스 등 많은 후진이 양성되었다. 제2차세계대전중에는 오세아니아와 아프리카 등지의 현지조사가 전시 정보수집활동이라는 형태를 취하기도 했으나 전후에는 친족관계와 사회구조에 관한 연구를 중심으로 사회인류학이 전개되었다. 1940~50년대는 영국 사회인류학의 최절정기로 이론적으로 부진했던 미국의 학계와 유럽 각국의 민족학의 분야에 큰 영향을 미쳤다.

방법과 특징

사회인류학은 분석 결과 얻어진 가설보다는 분석방법 또는 종래 다른 학문에 의해 정립된 이론에 대한 방법론적 회의를 특징으로 한다. 말리노프스키와 래드클리프 브라운이 제창한 조사·분석법들은 다음의 3가지 점에서 거의 일치했다. 즉 ① 대상은 작은 사회, 또는 큰 사회 속의 독립적인 소규모 공동체일 것, ② 조사는 장기간의 참여관찰 형태로 실시할 것, ③ 각 사회의 제도와 요소가 어떤 방식으로 통합된 사회체계를 구성하고 또한 어떻게 기능하고 있는가를 탐구하는 데 분석의 목표를 둘 것 등이었다. 이러한 연구방법은 넓은 지역에 걸친 자료수집과 비교적 단기간의 조사실시라는 그동안의 연구 스타일을 반성하고, 궁극적으로는 구조기능주의를 자연과학적인 엄밀성과 정합성을 지닌 학문으로 정립하는 데 목적이 있었다. 이와 같은 방법과 입장에서 친족관계가 사회체계의 기초로서 새로이 중심적인 분석과제가 되었다. 친족관계의 여러 요소가 사회의 다른 요소 및 제도와의 관련 속에서 어떻게 기능하는가를 해명하는 과정에서 구조기능주의는 어느 정도의 위력을 발휘했으나 동시에 방법적인 측면에서는 취약점을 가지고 있었다. 즉 이 이론은 대상을 작은 사회에 한정하면서도 그 사회가 다른 사회로부터 독립해 있는 상태를 전제로 했다. 또 사회체계 내의 기능의 연관을 밝히면서 사회제도나 요소가 서로 기능하는 방식에 중점을 두는 바람에 기능적 연관이 이루어지는 이유는 간과하게 되었다. 즉 분석대상인 사회체계는 사회적 공간 속에서 다른 사회나 보다 큰 체계로부터 분리되고, 역사적으로는 그 사회의 과거나 미래와 연관성이 없는 정체적(停滯的)인 모델로서 이해되고 있는 것이다.

현황과 장래의 가능성

사회인류학이 안고 있는 문제는 상당히 복잡하나 대체로 다음의 2가지로 정리할 수 있다. 첫째, '구조'와 '기능적 설명'에 관한 것이다. 즉 사회인류학에서의 '구조'가 사회관계의 실체로서의 구조인지 사회관계를 이해할 때의 추상적 모델인지가 명확지 않고, 그에 따라 어떤 구조 속에서 요소와 제도가 상호연관하에 사회체계에 대하여 각각 필요한 기능을 수행하고 있다고 할 때, 그 구조가 정합적(整合的)인 실체로 설명될수록 그 사회는 경직화되어 어떤 사회변화와도 양립할 수 없게 된다. 구조가 추상적 모델이라면 기능적 설명은 구조와 기능이 사전에 서로 설정되어 있는 것이 되므로 순환론에 빠지고 만다. 이런 비판들에 대하여 동태적 모델 즉 사회적 행위의 과정을 해명하려는 시도가 나오게 되었다. 둘째, 사회인류학에서의 '역사'의 복권(復權) 문제이다. 사회인류학은 방법론적으로 역사를 사상(捨象)하고 있는데, 이에 대해 역사적 과정 속에서 조사를 진행하여 변화의 제양상을 분석 대상으로 삼는다는 식의 새로운 연구방법이 제시되었다. 현재의 사회인류학은 1960년대 레비 스트로스의 구조주의적 분석, 특히 세계관·신화의 연구에 의해 자극을 받고 의식(儀式)·상징주의 등의 부문에서 상당한 성과를 올리고 있으며, 외부의 비판과 그에 대한 대응과 새로운 연구대상의 모색을 통해 보다 활기찬 학문으로 변화하고 있다.

 

8 Bibliography

BIBLIOGRAPHY. General works include LESLIE STEVENSON, Seven Theories of Human Nature (1974), which gives short introductory sketches of the views of Plato, Christian philosophers, Marx, Freud, Skinner, Sartre, and Lorenz; BERNARD GROETHUYSEN, Anthropologie philosophique (1953, reprinted 1980), a series of historical sketches of human personality from antiquity to the Renaissance; MICHAEL LANDMANN, De Homine: Man in the Mirror of His Thought (1979; originally published in German, 1962), philosophical rather than anthropological; J.S. SLOTKIN (ed.), Readings in Early Anthropology (1965), a good selection of important historical texts, mainly of Anglo-Saxon thinkers; GEORGES GUSDORF, Les Sciences humaines et la pensée occidentale (1966- ), a general history of the sciences of man on the basis of an anthropological philosophy--12 of 13 vol. had appeared to 1986; ERNST CASSIRER, An Essay on Man: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Human Culture (1944, reprinted 1974), a useful and accurate sketch; and A.L. KROEBER (ed.), Anthropology Today: An Encyclopedic Inventory (1953, reissued 1965).

On the history of the philosophy of man in the Western tradition, see PRUDENCE ALLEN, The Concept of Woman: The Aristotelian Revolution, 750 BC-AD 1250 (1985), which contains an excellent bibliography and numerous quotations from historical sources on human nature and the relation between male and female. Insights into the spirit of Renaissance thinking about man are given by ERNST CASSIRER, The Individual and the Cosmos in Renaissance Philosophy, trans. by MARIO DOMANDI (1963, reissued 1972; originally published in German, 1927); and DOROTHY KOENIGSBERGER, Renaissance Man and Creative Thinking: A History of Concepts of Harmony, 1400-1700 (1979). The problems faced by 17th-century philosophers are outlined in LEROY E. LOEMKER, Struggle for Synthesis: The Seventeenth Century Background of Leibniz's Synthesis of Order and Freedom (1972). ERNST CASSIRER, The Philosophy of the Enlightenment, trans. by FRITZ C.A. KOELLN and JAMES P. PETTEGROVE (1951, reissued 1979; originally published in German, 1932), provides a general discussion of the Enlightenment. On Hegel's philosophy and its impact, see CHARLES TAYLOR, Hegel and Modern Society (1979). A useful comparison of two very different 19th-century views of man and society is provided by GRAEME DUNCAN, Marx and Mill (1973, reprinted 1977). CHARLES COULSTON GILLISPIE, Genesis and Geology: A Study in the Relations of Scientific Thought, Natural Theology, and Social Opinion in Great Britain, 1790-1850 (1951, reissued 1959), discusses the impact of science on religious conceptions of man and his place in the order of nature in the decades before Darwin; and MARY MIDGLEY, Beast and Man; The Roots of Human Nature (1978, reissued 1980).

Post-Fregean, analytic philosophical thinking about man is conveyed in SAMUEL GUTTENPLAN (ed.), Mind and Language (1975, reprinted 1977); AMÉLIE OKSENBERG RORTY (ed.), The Identities of Persons (1976); JOHN SEARLE, Minds, Brains, and Science (1984); and DONALD DAVIDSON, Essays on Actions and Events (1980). The controversy over whether linguistic ability is a distinctively human trait is discussed in EUGENE LINDEN, Apes, Men and Language (1975, reprinted 1981); and NOAM CHOMSKY'S Language and Mind, enl. ed. (1972).

Post-Hegelian philosophy that constitutes philosophical anthropology in the strict, third sense, together with reactions against it, is discussed in KATE SOPER, Humanism and Anti-Humanism (1986); and MARK POSTER, Existential Marxism in Postwar France (1975, reprinted 1977). Works with the orientation characteristic of philosophical anthropology in this sense include HANNAH ARENDT, The Human Condition (1958, reprinted 1974); EDMUND HUSSERL, Ideas: General Introduction to Pure Phenomenology, trans. by W.R. BOYCE GIBSON (1931, reissued 1972; originally published in German, 1913); MARTIN HEIDEGGER, Being and Time, trans. by JOHN MACQUARRIE and EDWARD ROBINSON (1962, reissued 1973; originally published in German, 7th ed., 1953); JEAN-PAUL SARTRE, Being and Nothingness, trans. by HAZEL E. BARNES (1956, reissued 1978; originally published in French, 1943), and Critique of Dialectical Reason, trans. by ALAN SHERIDAN-SMITH (1976, reissued 1982; originally published in French, 1960); M. MERLEAU-PONTY, Phenomenology of Perception, trans. by COLIN SMITH (1962, reprinted 1981; originally published in French, 1945); and SIMONE DE BEAUVOIR, The Second Sex, trans. by H.M. PARSHLEY (1953, reprinted 1983; originally published in French, 2 vol., 1949).

Opposition to this orientation can be found in, among others, CLAUDE LÉVI-STRAUSS, The Savage Mind (1966, reissued 1972; originally published in French, 1962), and Structural Anthropology, 2 vol. (1963-76; originally published in French, 1958-73); LOUIS ALTHUSSER, For Marx, trans. by BEN BREWSTER (1969, reissued 1979; originally published in French, 1965); and JACQUES LACAN, The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psycho-Analysis, trans. by ALAN SHERIDAN (1977, reissued 1981; originally published in French, 1973).

(G.P.G./M.E.T.)

   


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